As digital PR professionals, we’ve all experienced the rejection of more than one pitch by more than one journalist. Nevertheless, while every reporter is different, there are certain dos and don’ts that are just good practice when reaching out to media contacts.
Unfortunately, this list won’t guarantee that your story will be published and that you’ll be rewarded with links galore. However, what it will do is ensure that you don’t make any (sometimes silly) mistakes that might stop your pitch from even being considered. So, here are some of our top tips to help you secure that all-important coverage.
DON’T Forget to Personalise your Emails
It’s pretty simple this one: address the journalist by name in your email. Otherwise, it’s quite clear that you’re sending the same message to a number of other contacts, too.
DO Target the Correct People
It’s imperative that you send your pitch to the correct publications and journalists. So, do your homework and create a well-researched media list. That way, you can be confident that you’re offering something that is relevant to them.
DON’T Make It Too Long
Keep your pitch brief: journalists are busy people after all. As long as it’s informative, they should get a basic understanding of your story from the first few sentences. Then, if you can, link to a page with more information.
DO Email the News Desk
If you don’t have access to any existing media lists and you simply can’t find a relevant contact for your chosen publication, there’s no harm in emailing the news desk. While it’s not as good as finding a specific person, your story may still be picked up if it is good enough.
DON’T Forget About Images
Try to send images alongside your pitch, as this simply helps the journalist, who will want pictures for their article. Make sure to use descriptive filenames, as well as high-quality shots.
DO Follow up…
… but not too many times. There’s a fine line between checking your contact received your first pitch, and simply annoying them. Usually, it’s good practice to send one follow-up within a week, in case they did miss your original email.
DON’T Write Vague Subject Lines
It’s key that your email’s subject line is both eye-catching and informative, as it’s the first thing a journalist will see. A handy tip is to look at previous articles that your target contact has written, which may be on a similar topic. Then, study the headlines that they’ve used. That way, you can tailor your subject line to read like their kind of news headline.
DO Make Sure Your Piece is Newsworthy
At the end of the day, this is the most important factor. You may do all of the above correctly, but if your pitch simply isn’t newsworthy, then you’re not going to see the coverage that you would like. All is not lost, though! It may be worth taking a step back and reviewing your press release to see if there’s another angle that could work better.
To get more tips and tricks surrounding SEO, content and more, read another of our helpful blog posts, here, today.