7 Tips to Write a Compelling Media Pitch

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By Casady Williams

If you’re trying to write a successful media pitch, there are a variety of factors to consider in order to create a pitch an editor will love. A solid media pitch is nearly the same as an elevator pitch regarding its length, but it’s tailored more specifically to the journalist or editor’s interests. It’s important to know how to get the most out of your press release so you can grab the reader’s attention and secure your press interest immediately. Lacking any of these general guidelines for a good media pitch might mean your story gets tossed aside. Want to stand out from the sea of other media pitches and have your ideas picked before anyone else? Here are 7 valuable strategies your PR team can use to make an effective media pitch.

#1 Short and Simple

Here’s an uncomfortable truth: your pitch isn’t the only thing being read that day. Editors and journalists deal with so many story ideas. The last thing the person you’re pitching to wants is to read a seemingly endless block of text that never gets to the point of the pitch. There’s no time for introductions or to explain every detail. Get straight to the point and pitch your idea without wasting any time.

An effective media pitch is concise and to the point. If your reader opens up your email message and it’s too text-heavy, they’ll delete it or archive it. Create a shorter message with your idea. If they like it, then they’ll reach out. How do you write a pitch that keeps people reading until the end? Read on.

#2 Grab Them With the First Line

The best way to write an excellent short and concise media pitch is to summarize your idea in the first sentence. Your reader doesn’t have time to waste on trivial information. Writing your summary in the first line sets you up to spark interest from the start and keep their attention for the duration of your pitch. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not giving a compelling summary that explains the pitch in one sentence.

Sometimes the writer will start with unnecessary information and the pitch doesn’t start until halfway through the long message. Want to grab and maintain their interest? Be straight forward and tell them everything in the first sentence. That first line should get their attention and will determine if the rest of your pitch is worth their time. The goal is to keep their interest until you’re finished with your pitch. You do that by building rapport with your reader that hooks them and compels them to reach out.

#3 Build Rapport With Relevancy

You do know the person you’re pitching to is human, right? Treat them like a person you care about and not just another editor on your list. You can do this by doing your research on the person you’re pitching to. Your journalist or editor’s interest will skyrocket if you tailor your media pitch and acknowledge their recent work. This alone shows you going the extra mile on your homework and dramatically increases getting a response.

You’ll hook them with your effort and also love that you are spotlighting them. Editors are used to getting a massive amount of emails that are too obviously just ‘blanket emails’ sent to hundreds of people without any customization. There’s nothing personal about them at all.

No one wants to just be ‘another email address’ or ‘just another email sent.’ Take the time to do research and know who you’re pitching to. That work will go a long way. Your reader will take notice, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you get a response just for doing the extra research.

#4 Link To Easily Accessible and Useful Information

When you’re writing your pitch use the text to link back to additional information that could make your ideas, research, and overall pitch a lot more credible. Showcasing your ideas and highlighting that you did your research not only shows your hard work and effort, but it can also help support the plans you have and why your media pitch is right for them.

The alternative would be to use attachments but doing so would increase your chances of going to the spam folder, which is the last thing you want. Surely, you don’t want to spend time writing your idea only for it never even be seen because it went to spam. In time, you’ll be able to learn how to use the right story angle to have your media pitch stand out.

#5 Develop A Pitch Calendar To Test Your Story Angles

How do you become really good at writing an effective media pitch? Consistency and testing. Crafting a compelling media pitch takes time to understand what works and what doesn’t work. You must identify your story ideas and gather the information you need to create a quarterly calendar that tests out story angles.

Yes, you can blindly pitch your ideas, but you won’t have the clarity that shows you what story angles and practices are the most fascinating to the editors. Not using an organized calendar could lead you to send endless pitches with zero progress on creating an effective media pitch. Creating a calendar allows you to analyze your results and come up with that knockout combination that will consistently have editors contacting you for the story. Here are some more tips and tricks for secure media responses!

#6 Create A Compelling Subject Line

We mentioned above that your reader has to look over and read countless solicitations throughout the day. If you look at their email inbox, you may see an ocean of unread or archived emails that will never be opened. If you want your media pitch to be noticed, you need to write an attention-grabbing subject line that makes them click on your message immediately. How do you do that?

Create a subject line that encompasses one of two important concepts: utility and curiosity. Your subject line should either spark their interest or mention something that’ll be of use to them, anything else has a more significant chance of being ignored. Also, something that helps a lot is creating a subject line that shows some kind of personality. If you look at your inbox, you’ll probably see a list of boring, general subject lines. But, if you add something catchy or different, you’ll increase the chances of being read. Here’s how we’ve developed a successful email marketing strategy that hooks readers’ attention!

#7 Offer Exclusivity and Leverage Embargo Pitching (when appropriate)

A nice selling point you can use to make your media pitch stand out is offering your pitch as an exclusive or as an embargo. Offering your pitch as exclusive is attractive to editors because of the chance that no other source will be able to use it. It’ll make their content the go-to piece that’ll attract readers and make them the expert.

You can also pitch embargo, meaning no reporters can release any news to the public until a specific time or date. These two things add a little spice to your pitch that makes it just a little more attractive to choose amongst the mountain of pitches editors read through each day. It adds uniqueness and a specialty that will make your media pitch stand out.

Improve Your Media Pitching

By using the 7 strategies above, you’re increasing your chances of writing a compelling media pitch editors will love. When it comes to creating a good media pitch, you need to stand apart from the rest. Editors read many pitches throughout the day, so presenting your story in a compelling way with an attractive subject line is crucial. Any misstep or neglect of these best practices might mean your story is ignored.

In short, be concise and customized from the very start with no fluff or unnecessary information. Do not overload your pitch with non-relevant info but do your research on the person you’re pitching to and let them know why you’re pitching to them. A little flattery goes a long way and will make you stand out from anything else they read that day. In the end, gather your results and keep testing different angles to see what works best. You’ll be saving time, money, and getting the results you want.

Keep in mind that who you’re pitching to is a human being, and they can tell whether your media pitch is prepared and credible. Take the time to write something of quality, and you’ll be rewarded. You’ll be an expert at writing effective media pitches in no time!