Journalists are busy. They’re on a deadline, and whatever you’re pitching to get coverage for is probably less important than what they’re trying to write right now. That email you spent half an hour perfecting? It’s getting scanned for newsworthy details and surprising facts. Something that’s going to make their readers hit the ‘share’ buttons.
So how do you make a journalist sit up and notice what you’re pitching? Here are 3 things to consider when you’re emailing journalists:
1. Stop with the flattery
Flattery might work when you’re doing blogger outreach, but only if it’s genuine. As a blogger myself, I understand the amount of work it takes to run a successful site. It’s our time and money being poured into site design and hosting every month, our bedside lamps burning until the early hours as we write, and promote, and plan, and pitch.
Journalists are doing their jobs. You don’t need to tell them that you loved the op-ed they wrote for the Guardian back in 2014 or how you’ve stalked their Instagram and seen how cute their new puppy is. Just get to the point, they’re busy too.
2. Write some of the story for them
Journalists are probably never going to lift something you wrote and publish it verbatim, but it helps if you can write some of the story for them. Don’t make them dig around your data for the most important facts. Don’t make them spend an hour on your website looking for your product’s USPs. Do it yourself.
What does this look like in practice? I normally pull out the stats and information that’s going to be most relevant to their audience and list them in my main email. That way, they can see the most important details at a glance. Help them write the story you want them to write about you and you’re much more likely to secure coverage.
3. Be Proactive
Do you have images that the journalist can use if they want to run the story or a company spokesperson who’s available for interviews?
Maybe you have an interactive graphic the journalist can feature, or an iframe they can use to host it on their site fully.
Give them to the journalist in your initial email with a link to a media pack containing relevant images, your press release, and anything else that’s relevant.
Hopefully these tips have given you some food for thoughts for your next PR campaign. Need some help pitching your service product, or interactive content to the media? Email me and let’s get started.