If you work in digital PR, then you know that pitching to journalists is a huge part of what we do. If you don’t, you may be wondering how exactly you can contact a journalist with a story out of the blue and find success.
Pitching is never exactly easy, but it’s crucial to any successful digital PR campaign. To work in digital PR means contacting journalists on a daily basis, so it’s a skill that certainly needs refinement. Let’s take a look at some of the Embryo digital PR team’s best tips for perfecting your pitch.
1. Do your research
This is a big one, and it’s something you should do before even opening your emails for outreach.
A lot of the time you’ll be contacting journalists who you have never spoken to or met before. Research is perhaps the best way of bridging this gap. What has your target been writing about recently? What’s going on in their industry and how can you link your story to it? By including these elements in your pitch, any journalist is going to immediately take you more seriously.
You can even take things further by following people on Twitter or connecting with them on LinkedIn, connecting your pitch to interests and things they like. But you have to be INCREDIBLY careful doing this. You don’t want to over personalise things or come across as chummy. Bringing up anything too sensitive or opinionated is a big no-go.
2. Keep things brief
One of your major hurdles to overcome when pitching to journalists is the sheer volume of emails that they receive every day. If they write for a national newspaper and they get 200+ emails in a day, how are you going to cut through?
You need to be concise and to the point. Keep things short. If a journalist opens your email and sees a pitch 400 words long, they probably don’t have the time to read it. Similarly, if you can briefly explain what the story is in your subject line, then your email is far more likely to be opened in the first place. Your pitch needs to be short and punchy, or you’ll fail to cut through the noise.
3. ALWAYS follow up
This really continues on from our previous point. Remember that journalists receive a huge volume of emails each day, which means that even with a great pitch, sometimes your email is just going to be lost or missed in the crowd. How do you deal with this? Follow up.
If they haven’t responded to your pitch in a couple of days, send your targets journalists a quick follow up email. You’d be amazed at how many more responses you get when you apply one or two follow up emails to your strategy instead of leaving it to a single pitch email. Perhaps they saw your email but had a full day and couldn’t cover it, then forgot about it. Or maybe they didn’t see it at all.
There’s a notion that follow ups are annoying and useless, which isn’t true at all. Of course, there will be journalists who see your pitch and decide it’s not for them, which is why it’s important to try and sweeten the deal a little bit. Offer an exclusive comment or interview in your follow ups to try and entice journalists.
Get in touch with Embryo today
Want to find out more about how Embryo’s digital PR pitches our creative campaigns to journalists to gain national media attention and coverage? Get in touch with us today to speak to a member of our friendly and helpful team to discuss how we can transform your brand’s online presence.