I'd like to throw out a question to my small business public relations friends. Imagine Friend A sends you a short and straightforward email about getting together for dinner. At the same time, Friend B sends you a long, three paragraph lengthy email also requesting dinner plans. Which friend are you more likely to answer first? More than likely, you'll respond back to Friend A first. You should think about pitch notes in the exact same way. It can be very challenging to write a short and simple pitch note when you have a lot to say, but I am truly finding that the shorter the pitch note, the higher response rate.
While you're anxious to share the news about your new product / service, keep your pitch notes tight, concise and, most importantly, relevant. Journalists receive tons (I mean TONS) of email pitches a day. So when you're onto your next DIY PR adventure, follow these four simple steps to get your media pitching started on the right foot.
1. Relevancy: I'll assume your research is done and you've confirmed your pitch is relevant to the publication, column and journalist. Back to our friend A&B example above for a minute. If you email a friend in California to go to the movies with you in NY, you're probably not going to have much success, right? In fact, your friend might be wondering if there's something seriously wrong with you. Sending a pitch note about a new food product to someone who covers technology is equally as ridiculous.
2. Length: The less is more rule applies here. Email pitches should be less than eight to ten sentences if possible. It's challenging especially if your product might take a little explaining. Even seasoned PR folks can find writing pitch pitch notes to be a time investment.
3. Noteworthy news? A pitch note gives you an opportunity to include a media angle as to why a journalist would want to write about your product / service. It also gives you a chance to tie your business to a recent trend. Is your product a new game-changing technology? Do you offer really clever gift ideas that are perfect for a Mother's Day gift guide?
4. Structure. Here's how I suggestion pulling it all together:
– Product Info
– Media Angle / Hook (why is your product / service newsworthy? Does it fit into a trend?)
– Offer additional information
– press release, photography, samples, etc.
– Contact Info (phone, email, social media, etc.)
For any more questions related pitching the media or general PR inquiries, please feel free to contact me.