Pitching a reporter: 7 tips for crafting irresistible subject lines

Keep your email pitch from being relegated to the trash can before it gets opened.

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Unfortunately, these days, reporters have less time than ever, and chances are they probably prefer an email pitch. So, it all starts with a solid subject line. Here are seven tips to help your email pitch get opened:

Plug a previous story. Would you be more likely to open an email from someone if it made mention of your recent work? One simple way to catch a reporter’s attention is with an email subject line that plugs a recent story he or she wrote. For example, “News tip per [Insert two to three words on story subject] story.”

Word trending. Get creative and timely to help your pitch scream, “Open me!” A couple of years ago you could have taken a word and added “cession” to the back of it. If you’re keeping an eye on the news, you’ll know the newsworthy trends. If you want to find some more to work with, check out TrendWatching.com and sign up for the free monthly Trend Briefing.

Play on reporters’ beats. If the writer is always covering a particular column or segment, make the most of it. Like a local “Money Matters” column in the newspaper, or a national “Tech Tips” segment on TV. Give the following subject line a try: “Money Matters Tip: [Sum up your pitch in four to five words].”

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