How to Write a Pitch
By Olivia Lamme
Press releases and other forms of PR writing will never get recognition without pitches. Pitches allow journalists, bloggers and social media influencers to be intrigued by your ideas and want to learn more. Journalists receive numerous pitches every week, so you must ensure your pitch is clear, concise and personable in order to gain coverage. Though this may seem difficult, here are five simple ways to improve your pitch writing and attract journalists and influencers to your story!
Do Your Research
The key to an intriguing pitch is to target the right audience. An updated and relevant media list will make this step a lot easier. Research the journalists, bloggers and social media influencers that cover topics relating to your story. Ensure that their audiences would be interested in your content and want to learn more. Include detailed contact information for everyone on your media list. Such information includes an email, phone number and social media handles.
Once you have a thorough media list, pitching is easy! You know which reporters you want to target, and you are confident they will be interested in what you say. Targeting specific people ensures your story will fall into the right hands.
Keep It Concise
As stated earlier, journalists get numerous pitches every week, so remember to keep it concise. After greeting the person, immediately open with your newsworthy angle. Why should they continue reading? How will this piece benefit them? Why will their audience care? Answer these questions in the first few sentences of your pitch.
Whether you are writing a traditional pitch via email or a digital pitch via social media platforms, keep your message short and sweet. This initial pitch will not include your actual piece of writing. It just spells out the benefits for the reporter if they choose to cover your story.
Journalists and influencers are more likely to cover your story if you show a genuine interest in their previous work and their current audience. Mention their previous articles or posts that relate to your story or overall topic. Show them you have an appreciation for the work they do and would be honored to have them cover your idea. These details make your pitch personable and more authentic.
For example, if you are writing a press release about an upcoming concert in your town, pitch your story to a local newspaper journalist who covers art and culture. Mention your thoughts on one of their recent articles about a music festival, and then elaborate on why they should cover the concert. These details show your care for their work and appreciation for their beat.
Be sure to end your pitch with instructions for the next steps. Nudge the reporters in the right direction by offering them access to interviews, photographs or videos. These resources make their jobs a little easier and show them that you are prepared to help them cover your topic. As mentioned earlier, do not already give them access to your press release, but allude to the fact that you have plenty of information you would like to share with them if they agree to write your story.
The last and most important piece of advice is to follow up. Remind your specific reporter about your story idea if enough time has passed. Influencers, bloggers and journalists are very busy people, so it is acceptable to mention your story again. Use your judgment when it comes to timing and frequency. But overall, make sure you stay polite and professional. A follow-up is acceptable when it is done correctly.
Hopefully, these simple steps make pitching more straightforward. Always remember that your writing is worth reading. Give your hard work some credit by effectively pitching your ideas to those who can help you gain exposure. Just remember to target the right person and keep your message short, authentic and helpful!