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How to Prepare a Perfect PR Pitch

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Imagine you’re in an elevator with a journalist, and he or she needs a story idea.  All you have is (60 seconds) this short amount of time to convince them why he or she should care about your client’s story.

One of the key elements to receiving publicity for your clients is pitching his or her story/topic/product to journalists.

Writing a pitch to a journalist can either make or break the topic you’re pitching, if it doesn’t contain the right information or is poorly worded. From the subject line to the last period, a PR pitch to a journalist is one of the most important tasks in PR. 

Before writing your pitch

Target the right journalists. Don’t pitch a story on animal rights to a financial reporter. It doesn’t matter if the story has slight ties to a certain subject; focus primarily on journalists who specialize on the topic of your pitch or your client’s industry.

Once you’ve found journalists you want to send your pitch to, be sure to research the journalist you’re targeting. See what stories this specific reporters have done in the past.

Writing your pitch

Use a catchy subject line that will entice journalists open their email. Pitches should be as short as possible and have a great opener to keep them interested. Brevity is key as journalists have deadlines and are usually short on time, so they don’t have time to read through a pitch that is three or four paragraphs long.

A timely pitch that also has a news angle is essential for your topic to be covered. Journalists are the masters of working on multiple stories with the same idea, working on deadlines and searching for more story ideas. Sending them a pitch that is helpful and related to a current news story helps create a win-win relationship.

Your pitch should be cordial, friendly and engaging, all while answering an important question that journalists ask: Why should I care?

Before sending your pitch

Check for any spelling errors and PROOFREAD. Don’t rely on spell check. Make time to have one or two people read over your pitch before you send it. You can have a perfectly written and timely pitch, but the wrong use of “your” or “you’re” can ruin it.

After sending your pitch

It can be tricky decision whether or not to follow up and when. Depending on the timeliness of a pitch, it’s best to either call or email them a day or two after you’ve sent it. Otherwise, follow up with them a week or so afterwards. But if you don’t hear back, they most likely weren’t interested. Just try again next time!

Happy pitching!


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