One of the biggest problems faced by PR pros is when their pitches go unread or unanswered. In today’s industry, there are 6 PR professionals for every journalist – and that ratio continues to become more drastic. Email pitching is a communicator’s best friend, but making your pitch stand out is becoming increasingly challenging. Journalists are inundated with hundreds of pitches every day, so what is the best way to get your client’s story noticed? The BIGteam has compiled a list of the five best ways your pitch can cut through the clutter of your target reporter’s inbox:
1. Personalization is key – A huge mistake PR pros make is when pitches are sent en masse to a wide range of reporters without thoughtful consideration and research done beforehand. PR pros should always actually know who they are pitching and why. It’s crucial to not only know a reporter’s beat, but also know what they’ve been writing about recently, and if they’ve done a story similar to the one you’re pitching. You can even follow reporters on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up with the conversations they’re involved in and what’s catching their interest at the time. These factors all play into whether or not the journalist could be interested in writing about your client. It goes without saying, but avoiding nameless “to whom it may concern” emails is step one. The more evidence you find that proves the reporter is a great fit to write about your client, the better.2. Tie in data whenever possible – PR pros are naturally great storytellers and can craft creative angles to highlight their clients’ news or company stories. While this is an important aspect of a pitch, you should also reporters the proof behind your claims. If your client is the leader in their industry, what statistics or data backup that claim? Providing journalists with as much information as possible about your client gives them every resource they need to write a great story. Plus, if your client is able to provide you with their proprietary data they’ve allowed you to take public, it’s even more incentive to get reporters on the hook.3. Focus on the essentials – It’s a huge help to provide as much necessary content as possible for the reporter while keeping your pitch as short as possible. Get to the most essential content right at the beginning, and then supply only the info a reporter would need to prompt a story. Striking the balance between informative and selective is ever-important. A journalist’s time is extremely limited, and if your pitch is too long or fluffy, it will go unread. 4. Find a strong angle – Content is key when it comes to your pitch, and if you aren’t relaying your client’s story in a dynamic and relevant way, you’re doing them a disservice. Some common angles involve celebrating milestone events, newsjacking, or lining up your pitch with new product reveals and reviews. Regardless of how you get there, be sure your angle will be interesting to the journalist and their audience. 5. Build a relationship- While this might not be at the forefront of your brain when you’re creating pitches that break through the noise, once you hook a reporter, it’s good practice to work on building and maintaining meaningful relationships with them. Be helpful and considerate of their deadlines, and if a story isn’t right for them – don’t pitch them! Be sure to check in and see what stories they are working on as well, as the relationship should be helpful to both parties. Cultivating mutually beneficial friendships with members of the media takes time, but will serve as the most useful strategy for getting your client noticed.
Have any other great tips for cutting through the clutter? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!