Seeing the name
of your client in a national publication is one of the highlights of working in
public relations. Your pitch, your hard work and your dedication is publically
recognized – there’s no better feeling!
recognized by a national newspaper, magazine or website is at the top of every
client’s wish list, but getting there is a completely different matter.
There’s an art
to pitching to a national publication and these tips and tricks will help get
Lead times: each publication has different lead
times and this also varies between print and online outlets. Research what the
lead times are for your target publications by checking the their editorial
calendars as well as connecting with other publicists in your community. Update
your list regularly!
Who writes what: sending a journalist an irrelevant
pitch will seal your fate even before they read the email. Take time to
research the interests and topic areas of specific reporters before you send a
pitch their way. This can be done by reading their portfolio of work and
looking for particular topics/themes that they cover. Also be sure to study
their social media channels- what interesting things are they sharing and what
do they particularly love? If there’s a link between this and your pitch be
sure to include it.
Personalize: you need to draft your pitch, but how
should you write it? Send a personal pitch to the journalist and address them
by their first name. Include the name of the publication or outlet they write
for in the opening sentence as well as their area/s of interest.
Tailor your content: pitch emails need to be specific and
contain tailored information. Present your pitch with knowledge of the target
audience, and include a subject line that is simple and straightforward. Your
content needs to contain only the key information which the journalist will
need to reach their decision – remember the ‘4 ws’ when constructing your
content – what, where, when and why.
Presentation: consider presenting the key information
in a series of bullet points. A busy reporter will scan the email for the key
details a – a bulleted list makes this easier on the eyes and the brain!
Imagery: if you’re attaching photos or documents
to the email then be selective. Some reporters won’t open attachments and
prefer to be directed to an external website like Dropbox where they can safely
view files without having to download. Consider hosting larger files like media
kits or line sheets in a cloud based service and include the link when
In many ways, a
PR pitch is an elevator pitch- it needs to be short, succinct and to the point.
Following these tips can help you refine your pitch and gain coverage!
Contributor: Mari Escamilla, Senior Account Executive & Hispanic Media Manager.