Before you send your next email pitch, read this first
Email is quick and easy to use. You no longer have to wait for someone to pick up the phone or be available for a meeting. A reporter can simply read an email pitch on his or her time. Still, there are lots of factors you have to get right in order for your email pitch to be successful. Trust public relations to help you improve your online communication techniques for increased news coverage and visibility.
How to achieve media-pitching success and improved response rates
- Proofread, proofread and then proofread some more.
Nothing makes you look more unprofessional and indifferent than typos. If you don’t care enough about your information to make it look as good as possible, why should the reporter?
Grammatical and spelling errors, especially in the subject line, can decrease your rate of response by 10 percent or more. The more mistakes, the more credibility and responses you will lose. Pay special attention to things like improper capitalization, wrong use of contractions (they’re vs. there or your vs. you’re) and use of commas.
- Tell the reporter what you want him or her to do.
After reading your email pitch, you don’t want the reporter to think, “Okay, now what?”
You should be specific about next steps.
For example, if you want the journalist to attend a trade show, write a story or interview the CEO, say that. Don’t leave the reporter guessing. The right call to action may mean the difference between getting the story and wasting your time. Also, make sure to include the pertinent details and the appropriate contact information.
- Take notice of your tone.
Your writing should always be upbeat and positive, and email pitches are no exception. It’s vital to find the right balance of information and affability.
What you say in an email pitch to journalists is just as crucial as how you say it. Think about how you would speak to the reporter if you were face to face and try to keep your writing conversational like that. Also, avoid legal-speak and industry jargon or being unnecessarily complex.
- Remember that your closing is almost as important as your opening.
At the end of an email, most of us look for some generic, non-offensive way to indicate that the pitch is complete. This usually means we sign off with something like “Best,” “Sincerely” or “Regards.”
It may surprise you to know that journalists do pay attention to how you end your pitch. Therefore, if you’ve gotten them to read all the way to the end, make the ending count.
Research shows that you’ll get a better response rate by using gratitude. Ending your pitch with “Thanks in advance” or “Thank you for your time” could improve your success by more than 30 percent.
- Hire a PR firm to help you.
Journalists generally want you to educate or entertain them or give them exclusives; they don’t want you to convince them. They also need to be responsive to their target audiences. When you hit any of these areas, you’ll have a great email pitch.
At Axia Public Relations, we specialize in media relations. Our experts will craft your pitches to engage media and increase your positive news coverage, while staying true to your brand. To find out more, contact us or download our e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media.
Lisa Goldsberry is a senior blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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