Every public relations professional has his or her own quirks and style when crafting a pitch to the media.
Having a sense of individuality is great, but there should also be a method to the madness. Here are four tips that you should keep in mind while pitching:
1. Be targeted.
One of the worst possible mistakes that you can make while pitching is to do so blindly, and by that I mean, send out to everyone and their mother. Pitches should be tailored to specific industries and writers that cover certain beats. It is important to have a strategy and know who your target audience is.
2. Be relevant.
Pitching may be the name of the game, but getting newsworthy coverage for your client is the home run. Forget the phrase, “All publicity is good publicity,” and remember that it is important to carefully pick and choose what you want to promote. You are sending story ideas to be in the news, so make sure what you’re sending is newsworthy.
3. Get to the point.
This is not the time for flowery language or “fluff.” You are not Charles Dickens and do not get paid per word. (Disclaimer – I know that this is a myth, but you still catch my drift.) Most likely you are sending a story idea, and communicating that idea to a journalist as clearly as possible is important. In order for them to use your story idea and/or source, they have to understand it. (Ironically, this is the longest tip; maybe I should take my own advice.)
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4. Be persistent.
Follow up, follow up, follow up. Keep the conversation going and don’t let your good idea get buried in someone’s inbox. Showing your interest by offering to answer questions or clear up any confusion demonstrates that you are helpful and easy to work with. Journalists are eternally grateful for anything you can do to make their job less hectic.
I can’t guarantee you’ll get your pitches accepted, but with these tips in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of landing them. That can make all the difference.
Lyndsey Lewis is a company associate at Markstein. A version of this post originally appeared on the company's blog.