Knowing how to communicate with journalists is one of the most important skills to develop as a PR practitioner. This means knowing what to say, how particular journalists like to be contacted i.e., via phone, text or email, & even what time they like to receive pitches. Whilst it can seem like a lot to remember, there are a few key tips that can be applied to almost all Media pitching. Here, we’ve shared our expert insights on the six steps to craft a killer pitch!
1. Start with a strong hook: The first few sentences of your pitch should grab the attention of the journalist & make them want to keep reading. A strong hook can be a surprising statistic, a unique angle, or a timely news hook. For example, if you’re jumping on a TikTok trend that is relevant to your niche, it can be helpful to include a hyperlink so the journalist immediately knows what you are referring to.
2. Personalise the pitch: Do your research on the journalist or publication you are pitching to & tailor your pitch to their interests & audience. This shows that you have done your homework & increases the chances of your pitch being accepted. We subscribe to a comprehensive industry database which includes everything from the journalists’ interests & preferred contact details, to when they like to receive pitches.
3. Keep it concise: Journalists are busy & receive hundreds of pitches every day, so it's important to keep your pitch short, sharp & to the point. Aim for no more than two-three paragraphs. No one likes a wordy email! For any background information that is critical to your story, it is best to include this in the form of an attachment - this is where a Media Release may come in handy. Remember though, it is the body of the email that will determine if the attachment is even opened, so make it punchy.
4. Highlight the news value: A good pitch should have a clear news value or angle. This could be a new product launch, a trend or innovation in the industry, research results or a unique story that will interest the journalist's audience. Ask yourself, “Is this something I would read or be interested in?”. If the answer is no, you need to rethink your approach.
5. Provide supporting information: In addition to the pitch, provide supporting information such as product samples, images, or expert quotes to help the journalist write their story. Ultimately, you want to make sure you give the journalist everything they need to make their life as easy as possible.
6. Follow up: Don't be afraid to follow up with the journalist a few days after sending your pitch. A friendly email, DM or phone call can help to remind them of your story idea & increase the chances of your pitch being accepted.
If you need help crafting story angles for your brand that are tailored to your specific niche, get in touch with us at Hannah@StraightUpPR.com.au - we’re here to help!