How to avoid journalists’ 5 worst pitching peeves

PR pros will have much better luck seeing their stories in print if they avoid these common–and annoying–missteps. 

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Knowing what sets reporters and editors’ teeth on edge is the first step to ensuring your pitches are well received.

BuzzStream and Fractl asked more than 500 reporters and editors for their worst pitching peeves. Here are five lessons you can learn from the survey:

Pitching peeve No. 1: Not getting to the point.

The best pitches sum things up in 20 words or fewer.

Pitches that force a journalist to wade through paragraphs of text to understand a story will not elicit email responses. Most reporters and editors won’t get through the opening spiel before sending your pitch to their spam folders.

Being clear and concise is even more important when your story has complicated subject matter.

Before using jargon or adding to your pitch’s length, consider this advice from Mashable: “Explain it to me in a sentence or two as if you were telling your grandmother, before getting into specifics.”

Pitching peeve No. 2: Ignoring a journalist’s or a publication’s focus.

“I receive more than 500 emails a day,” says a Los Angeles Times editor, but that’s not the bad part:

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