3 Ways Prevent Your Pitch from Being Deleted
Pitching the media can sometimes feel like throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks – but with a little preparation, your email pitch can go from a shot in the dark to a sure thing. Here are three ways to prevent your pitch from certain death in the trash folder.
Craft an appealing subject line
The subject line is the first thing the reporter will see upon receiving your email – so make it count. The average subject line is only 32 characters long so keep it brief and punchy, avoiding any words that seem overly spammy such as “free,” “gift,” “offer” or “quote.” Remember, you’re trying to lure them into opening the email, not tell the entire story in one line.
Adequately research the reporter
Before formulating your pitch, do a quick search on the reporter you’re targeting – check his or her Twitter pages to see what he or she is writing about and interested in. Research the publication and dig up some of the reporter’s most recent pieces of work. This gives you very specific background information that can help you make an initial connection. Finally, note the spelling of the reporter’s name – nothing is worse than addressing a pitch to the wrong person – or to the right person, but incorrectly spelled.
Personalize the pitch
If you’re a veteran pitch creator, you’ve probably fine-tuned your pitch-writing system – but take a moment to personalize the pitch to the specific person – and publication. Don’t simply copy and paste a generic pitch into an email and hit send – reporters can always tell when they’re just one on a list of many. Reference the publication in your pitch and suggest specific columns where this story might be a good fit. Consider the tone of the publication, and mirror it in your pitch.
Reporters have a limited amount of time each day to read and respond to pitches, so make sure yours is at the top of the inbox by creating a compelling subject line, doing some research on your targeted reporter and taking a few minutes to personalize the pitch itself.