The Art of the Pitch
For many small businesses and start-ups, getting media attention is another step toward credibility and can lead to valuable and much needed exposure. The best way to get said exposure from a publication, is through an email pitch to a journalist or editor. Seems easy enough, right? Wrong. Many have have tried pitching journalists, only to never hear back from them, despite having a unique product or service that would make for a great story. Here at Boucher + Co. we have reached out to a high volume of publications due to our diverse client base, and have had varying amounts of success across multiple industries. However, no matter the industry or product, the elements of a successful email pitch are the same across the board.
1. Have A Compelling Subject Line
The subject line is probably the most important part of the pitch. You may have written the best pitch in the world, for the greatest product in the world, but if your subject line is severely lacking in the appeal department, it won’t get read. It’s simple as that. Therefore, it’s important to spend time coming up with multiple subject lines and then choosing the one that sounds the most compelling. You can do this after the pitch is written, or before, depending on when inspiration strikes.
Before you send the pitch out to the journalist, test send it to yourself to see how it reads in your inbox. Would you click open? If there is any doubt in your mind, go back and re-write the subject. But refrain from dirty tactics such as starting the subject line with “RE:” to trick the journalist into thinking your email is a reply. That’s the quickest way to get blacklisted.
2. Get Right Into It
Journalists are extremely busy people. They receive hundreds of pitches a day, so it’s important to get right into whatever you are trying to pitch. There’s no need for “URGENT” or “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” Just get to the point, they know why you’re writing to them.
3. Pick a Unique Angle
What makes your product or service different from the others on the market? Once you have this answer, you have your angle. It also helps immensely to do research on the particular journalist you are trying to pitch, this way you can cater your pitch toward the journalist’s area of focus.
4. Link. Don’t Attach
Don’t overload a journalist’s inbox with space eating attachments they may never open. Most journalists delete emails with attachments as a standard precaution against viruses, and the servers of some publications will even send your email directly to spam. Instead, send them a link to a landing page where they can reference the same information. If they require additional materials for their story, they will ask you.
5. Follow Up Information
There’s nothing worse than writing a great pitch and then not including follow up information. Sure, the journalist can reply to the same email address you sent the pitch from, but also including a phone number gives them the choice of calling you directly in the case of an urgent question.