Do you wish the press would cover your business? Getting featured on a major news site or established blog can be a huge boon: not only helping to grow your brand but also gaining potential customers.
Let’s face it, reaching out to the press can be intimidating. You may not know what to say or even who to contact. Crafting the right pitch can mean the difference between getting your business featured in TechCrunch, Entrepreneur or Bloomberg, or having your brand go unnoticed.
Pitching journalists requires persuasion and an ability to connect with others. Therefore, it’s important to understand the perspective of journalists when determining how to write a pitch. So what does it look like from the other side of the table?
According to one survey, approximately 70% of journalists publish only one story per day, but they get pitched many more topics that won’t be turned into an article. In fact, 47% of writers get pitched more than 10 times per day, 14% of writers get 50+ pitchers per day, and 4% get pitched more than 100 times per day. This equates to roughly 50-500 pitches per week for only 5 articles.
U.S. Census data on PR professionals shows they exceeded the number of reporters by more than six-to-one in 2018. No wonder it’s so hard to cut through the noise! Some journalists from The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, and the Associated Press have even taken to Twitter to complain about the number of irrelevant and poorly worded pitches they receive.
Why Outreach Matters
Earning quality, relevant links is a critical part of SEO. It’s one of the most heavily weighted factors that Google uses in its algorithm to rank search results. But there are other benefits that come with earning press and backlinks, too. For startups and SMEs, it can bring awareness to your brand and help your business establish itself as a leader in its space. In addition, the more exposure your company gets in the media, the easier it becomes to recruit talented employees to join your team or raise capital from investors, should you choose to do so.
How to Write a Persuasive Journalist Pitch
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how to pitch journalists. A persuasive pitch email is subjective depending on the topic being suggested and the journalist you’re targeting. However, there are different strategies you can use to help pitch journalists effectively.
In general, writing short paragraphs is a good idea because it makes it easier for journalists to skim through your message and locate the important details. They don’t have time to read a lengthy email, so cut out the fluff and be concise.
While it can be tempting to give away the whole story, craft a PR hook that includes just enough information to pique the reader’s curiosity and outline an easy next step that requires minimal effort to respond to. In a nutshell, make it easy for the journalist or blogger to opt into the conversation.
Finally, a lot of PR specialists struggle with developing the correct tone in their pitches. If you use too formal a tone then you risk coming across as robotic or inauthentic. On the other hand, if you use language that is too casual, then you may appear unprofessional. The best PR pitches strike the right balance.