What is a Media Pitch?
A media pitch or a pitch is what we refer to as the email you send out to editors when pitching your client or brand to secure press interest. It’s also a critical part of the PR process that involves creative thinking and writing!
Nailing your pitch is the best way to ensure PR campaign success that yields impressive results for your clients.
These successful media placements not only increase brand awareness, but also help to build a positive reputation for your brand.
While we can all agree on the importance of media relations, sometimes securing a media placement isn’t as easy as it sounds. With editor inboxes being flooded with a barrage of email pitches, you need to figure out how to get their attention quickly and effectively get your point across.
Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when crafting your pitch:
Keep it short and sweet; include only the most important information!
Editor’s don’t want to read a six-paragraph pitch. They likely have hundreds of pitches sitting in their inbox, and if you’re lucky enough to have them open your pitch, you can bet they won’t spend the time reading your short-novel. Instead of including every detail, give them just enough to lure them in. If they are interested, they will respond and ask you for more information.
Come up with a clever subject line to catch their eye
You’re fighting for prime real estate in editor’s inboxes, so it’s your job to grab their attention. The best way to do this? A clever and catchy subject line! Most editors won’t open up every single pitch they receive, so you need to make sure your subject line persuades them to open yours.
Include an offer or something to entice them (exclusive interview, product, etc.)
The relationship between a PR professional and a journalist is a mutually beneficial one. Thus, the best way to entice a journalist is to offer them some sort of benefit. Whether it’s an exclusive interview or a product sample, including an offer will up your chances of getting your client featured.
Don’t be overly formal or too casual – there should be a balance
The style and tone of a pitch will vary depending on your product and the publications/editors you are pitching to. That said, there should always be a balance when it comes to how formal or casual your pitch is. If you write an extremely formal pitch, the editor will likely find it uninteresting and if you write an overly casual pitch, the editor probably won’t take you seriously. In my experience, the best approach is to shoot somewhere in the middle!
Cater your pitch to the editor
An editor will appreciate if you take the time to research them and cater your pitch accordingly to acknowledge their recent activity. This shows an effort on your part and greatly increases the chances of an editor responding. Too often, PR professionals mass email the same pitch to hundreds of editors. If you think that an editor won’t notice, think again! While it might take you a little extra time to cater your pitch to each specific editor, the results will reflect your hard work.
With the five tips highlighted above in mind, you next need to determine if this is a product-focused pitch, a trend pitch or an announcement pitch. If you’re trying to get coverage around a product or service and are offering a free trial or a product gifting, you are most likely going with the product-focused pitch. If you’re piggybacking off of breaking news, then you’ll be trend pitching. If you are announcing something like a change in the business, a new philanthropic endeavor, or upcoming event, then you would use an announcement pitch.
A Product-Focused Pitch
Tangible products are sometimes the easiest thing to pitch because you can actually offer to send the editor the product itself. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love free stuff?! This is of course not the case if the product itself is uninteresting. While some products won’t require much convincing, others will be a bit more difficult. In these cases, you need to create the interesting part to entice them!
As a PR professional, it’s your job to create a story angle that the editor won’t be able to resist.
Sometimes it might take a little extra creativity, but that’s all part of the job!
- Make sure you include a link to the product so that the editor can easily check out what it looks like → If you don’t, they probably won’t take the time to look it up themselves
- Ask them if they have any upcoming stories in the pipeline that your product could be a good fit for → This will give you a better idea of whether you want to send them product or not
Hi [editor first name],
(I?) Wanted to introduce you to [brand hyperlinked], which [insert high-level background on brand].
We just released our new [new product hyperlinked] and would love to get it in your hands. I think your readers would be interested in a story on [insert 2-3 story ideas with product catered to this outlet.]
Let me know what you think and we can ship out [product] ASAP!
A Trend Pitch
If you notice a trend in the market that your client operates in, you can pitch your client spokesperson as a thought-leader in that space by taking the trend a step further and offering thought provoking commentary and predictions. A great way to find trending topics is through BuzzSumo. Once you identify relevant trends, pitch your spokesperson to the appropriate editors and offer them an incentive such as an exclusive interview. When crafting your pitch, make sure you position your spokesperson as an expert by outlining their expertise and ensure that the trend ties back to your client’s key value propositions. This shows their credibility on the subject and will increase your chance of receiving a response.
- Make sure that your client spokesperson is ready to participate in an interview ASAP, so you don’t leave the editor waiting
- Emphasize that this is a great opportunity for your spokesperson AND the editor → Editors won’t want to work with you if they feel like they’re being used to promote your client
Hi [editor first name],
(I?) Would love to offer you an exclusive interview with [insert brand spokesperson] of [insert brand hyperlinked]. Known for [insert brand spokesperson’s accomplishments], [insert brand spokesperson] is [insert ways brand spokesperson is changing the industry or fostering innovation]
I think your readers could learn a lot from [insert brand spokesperson] because [insert reasons why readers would connect with/ learn from brand spokesperson].
Interested in connecting with [insert brand spokesperson] to learn more?
An Announcement Pitch
An announcement pitch can be used to introduce the media to new collaborations, upcoming events, business changes, philanthropic endeavors and much more. For an announcement pitch, you might be using a press release as additional collateral, which has all the background on the announcement and all the info the editor needs. In this case, the pitch can be brief, providing a general overview with more detailed info to be found in the press release.
- Make a point to offer the announcement press release → This will likely secure a response from the editor out of curiosity
- Outline why this announcement is a big deal and why the editor should care → Make it specific to them
Hi [editor first name],
Next week, [insert brand hyperlinked] will announce [insert event, business change, philanthropic endeavor, etc.]
[insert brief background info on event, business change, philanthropic endeavor, etc.]
Interested in receiving the press release of the announcement? I’d also love to connect you with a spokesperson to learn more.
[attach press release]
An Influencer Pitch
Throwing this one into the mix because influencer marketing has become a huge arm of PR and pitches are need to reach out to influencers via email now too. Reaching out through Instagram direct messages is unorganized and is easy to get lost in influencers’ messages, which is why we recommend sending email pitches.
One thing to know about influencer pitches is that they can be a lot more casual and colloquial than pitching an editor.
- Make sure you include the link to the brand’s Instagram and website so they can check it out
- Include info on what you are looking for up-front and what you are willing to offer them in exchange
- Make sure you have product ready to ship out ASAP once you start outreach because you’ll get leads quickly
Hey [influencer first name],
Hope you’re having a fabulous week! I’m reaching out from [brand hyperlinked to website] about potential collaborations with you on Instagram/YouTube. We love your content on [insert recent content that appeals to you and the brand voice] and think you would be a great fit to work with on our upcoming influencer campaigns if you’re interested!
To give you some background, [brand name] is [compelling 1-2 sentences or a few bullets about brand including key differentiating factors — use this opportunity to tell a story!].
We’re looking for influencers like you to post [insert campaign details, i.e. number of posts etc.] on YouTube/Instagram highlighting [brand] and sharing your honest review. We’re offering [insert offering – product, monetary compensation, or combination].
Would love to hear if this is something you’re interested in and happy to check out your media kit!
Let me know what you think, and in the meantime, you can check us out on Instagram at [hyperlink handle].
Now that you have a guide to the most common types of media pitches, it’s your turn to make them your own. While these examples can serve as an excellent outline when writing your pitch, don’t be afraid to tweak them and put your own flare on it. After all, creativity is a huge part of the media pitching process! Depending on your client, the format of a pitch will vary greatly, so make a point to understand your client and your end goal. Once you understand both, it will guide you through the pitching process.
While mastering the art of pitching won’t happen overnight, these tips and examples can help steer you towards a path of success. As one of the most critical parts of PR, effective media pitching is key to the sustainment and development of a profitable PR program and should not be overlooked. It’s up to you to get your client quality media coverage, so get started!