From past experience, reporters are much more inclined to answer you if they know you’re taking the time to personally pitch them. It can be a bit daunting to look at a list of hundreds of reporters that you need to send an announcement to, but you can have just as much, if not more, of an impact targeting a smaller number of them with a thoughtful and personalized note.
Before you reach out to a journalist, take 5-10 minutes to research the topics they typically cover and recent articles they’ve written. Keep in mind that journalists get hundreds – if not thousands (seriously!) – of emails a day so it’s important to separate yourself from the rest of the “pitching pack.”
Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when you reach out:
Your Subject Line is the Difference Between a “Junk” Email and a Confirmed Story
Your subject line ultimately determines whether a reporter opens or deletes your email. Make sure to really capture their attention by personalizing the subject line with their name, a recent piece you loved, and a quick call to action.
Keep it Friendly and Casual
Journalists can instantly tell the difference between a personalized note and a blasted email. Try to keep your note to them short, sweet and to the point (save the fluff for your sandwich!) to increase your odds of them responding.
Example: Hey Sarah! Loved Your Wine Piece –Free June 12th for a Bordeaux Wine Tasting?
Bring Ideas (and Assets) to the Table
When pitching a journalist, provide them with everything they need to develop a story, from angles to assets. Your initial note to them should be two to five sentences, and it should include everything from how you envision them covering a topic to the assets they’ll need to accompany their piece.When pitching a journalist, provide them with everything they need to develop a story, from angles to assets.Click To Tweet
Reach Out on Social Media
In this day and age, direct messaging a journalist on social media often times catches their eye more than an email. However, this is a case-by-case basis so know your audience.
Get a Coffee or a Drink on Their Calendar
It may be weird to you at first, but believe it or not, journalists are used to being asked out! Show them that you not only want to work with them, but you want to develop a personal relationship with them by meeting them first. There’s nothing more valuable than face time.
Also remember to not take it personally if someone doesn’t get back to you. As Aaliyah once said, “dust yourself off and try again.”
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