Journalists reveal what makes them open your email pitches

Having a hard time getting through to your target outlet? Consider these essential steps.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

You found great data, you crunched the numbers, visualised them, put it all together into an amazing press release, and hit “send” to your top-notch list of media contacts.

Crickets chirp and tumbleweed blows by your desk.

Stories fall flat sometimes, even good ones and the reason often is that the pitch didn’t get through to the right person—or didn’t even get opened.

Having a journalist actually get to the stage where they read your press release is no mean feat, especially when you consider that journalists receive on average 500 pitches a day.

Getting them to consume your email pitch in the face of many others is a nut many in PR are still trying to crack. With a view to getting the information straight from the horse’s mouth, our agency spoke to journalists who revealed what exactly makes them open a press release email:

1.      The subject line deserves time.

One journalist revealed that they dedicate between 5–10 minutes to scanning their inbox for stories. With 500 pitches to sift through, that means they will eyeball your pitch for about 1 second before they decide whether or not it’s something they want to pick up. It doesn’t have to be clickbait, but something newsworthy enough to pique their interest.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.