8 ways to make reporters love you

You know you’ve got a great story if only the media would open that email pitch. Here are some ways to prove you’re a pro worth listening to.

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[Download the free guide, “What Journalists Want” for many more proven tips and tactics.]

3. Target the right reporter Off-topic pitches have annoyed journalists from time immemorial, and many PR pros still aren’t familiarizing themselves with specific journalists’ interests. Before pitching reporters or bloggers, read their work. Twitter makes this easy nowadays. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it bears restating. Beth J. Harpaz, a travel editor for the Associated Press, is swamped with emails announcing hotel openings, even though the AP doesn’t cover such events. If the AP assigned a reporter to every opening, that would be all it writes about. Rather, the wire service does big-picture stories, such as the start of ski season, or a piece on Jackie Robinson destinations in Brooklyn, pegged to the release of the movie “42.” 4. Choose a good subject line Email’s not dead—certainly not in pitching—but you do have to grab journalists’ attention right away. A few years back, a political reporter at a major U.S. daily was delighted by what was then a new feature on Outlook Express: Those little pop-up windows announcing incoming email included a delete button. Now he could trash irrelevant or off-beat pitches and press releases without opening them. It’s harsh, but the battle for journalists’ attention starts with your subject line. Don’t miss this chance to grab the reporter, editor, or blogger. Successful subject lines follow rules similar to those of headlines. The good ones:

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