What is pitching? Pitching is a skill that requires creative thinking, persuasive communication skills, and knowing how your story idea benefits the reporter and the audience. Public relations professionals typically pitch to reporters, editors, bloggers, and social media influencers.
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Pitching a story idea is important in gathering the attention of a journalist or reporter who will then be able to publicize your company or brand. The media pitch will detail why your story or brand is relevant, and how you will shape the industry landscape with your brand or company.
According to Orbit Media, all great pitches have three characteristics.
Great pitches are relevant to the journalist
Great pitches are under 200 words
Great pitches are easy to read
Identifying a strong lead is important in solidifying your pitch. The lead must entice the reader and want them to know more about your brand or company. One type of lead, a news peg, is a trending story or topic in the news that relates to your media pitch. Another type of lead is a time peg, which represents an upcoming date or event relevant to your brand.
Write a strong subject line to make sure your pitch is even worth opening. Journalists and reporters get so many inquiries a day, and they don’t have the time to sort through mediocre ones. Make sure yours stands out from the beginning with a captivating subject line.
Use timely news stories and research to make reporters’ jobs as easy as possible, relevant to current events, and excited to work on your pitch. Keep your pitch concise, including only the most important information.
Finding a compelling angle is important while pitching a story to make sure your pitch stands out among the rest. Journalists want to find the juiciest and most interesting idea, so framing your story to provide a unique selling point is important in capturing the media’s attention.
It’s crucial to cater your pitches towards the correct journalists. A journalist or editor will appreciate the time you take to learn about their beat (the types of stories they cover) and their style, and it will increase the chances of getting a response back.
Creating a rapport with journalists and reaching out to them specifically, instead of the publication in general, can help create a sense of credibility and trust between your brand and the journalist. Personalizing pitches and knowing who you are writing directly to are important in increasing your chances of getting your pitch email opened.
“Newsjacking,” or piggybacking on a big news story and tying it back to your brand or product, is helpful when writing a strong pitch. Frame your pitch to match current news stories and find parallels between these stories and your specific brand.
Media outlets want to write about breaking stories and newsworthy topics. To determine whether your pitch is newsworthy, consider the following.
Is your story new and current?
Does it feature an element of prominence?
Does it evoke an emotional response?
Will your story have a long lasting impact?
Is your story relevant to the publication you are pitching to?
1. Start with your strong lead: entice your reader with a captivating opening.
2. Announce your call-to-action: be clear in your intent for the action you want your read to take, whether it’s writing a product review, publishing a piece of content, or conducting an interview.
3. State your value proposition: the value proposition should state the value of your product and why it is different from others in the marketplace.
4. Write your conclusion: Wrap up the benefits of your product, recap your CTA, and thank the reader for their time and consideration.