Getting the media to pay attention can often prove difficult. As an entrepreneur or influencer that runs a business, you need the media to build your brand, boost your visibility, and expand your audience. When you decide to pitch a story, you ought to put your best foot forward.
If you haven’t been getting feedback, it means something is wrong with your pitch. There are some things you should watch out for when pitching your stories to the media.
Here are five ways to avoid a flop when you pitch a story to the media:
1. Pitch Your Story to the Right Guys
Nothing puts journalists and reporters off more than when pitched stories that are irrelevant to their niche. How can you avoid this? It’s by doing thorough research.
Explore the articles or stories published by the reporter you are pitching to. It’ll give you an idea of what sort of stories they cover. And you’ll know if yours is a right fit or not.
Media professionals are impressed when you refer to something they have worked on. But you won’t be able to do that unless you know about them and their work.
Find a way to build a connection between their brand and your story. It shows you have done your homework.
Don’t burn a bridge by pitching stories to the wrong media. You might still get an audience, but it may not help you reach your goal. Chances are, even if your story is published, your message will not reach your target audience.
2. Avoid Lengthy Pitches
It’s not about the length of your pitches, but the quality. Avoid long and tedious pitches.
Reporters receive so many emails daily and are constantly swamped with work. If they cannot grasp your point by reading through the first few lines, they’ll simply dismiss your pitch. This happens even if you have great content.
Get straight to the point.
Also, do not attach anything to your pitch. If you need to attach a file, it’s better to add a link to a Google Drive or Dropbox folder.
3. Don’t Use Boring Subject Lines
Your subject is as important as the pitch itself. It can determine whether your pitch email gets ignored or not. Remember, you are competing with other influencers and entrepreneurs who are pitching their stories to the same media. And you need to stand out!
Get creative. Make it direct, concise, and catchy. Avoid a simple subject line. If your subject line is boring, then your email might not even be opened at all. Or worse, it could end up in the trash folder.
Think of something that will grab the attention of the journalist or reporter. For instance, you could find a way to incorporate his/her last name in the subject line. Unique ideas like this will make your email seem a bit more personal. And you have greater chances of it being opened.
4. Watch Out for Writing Errors!
A major error is sending a pitch with writing errors! Avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes when pitching stories to media.
Even if you have the best content, your pitch will be discarded if it is filled with bad grammar and misspelled words. A spell checker is the last thing a journalist should have to use.
Your job is to make their job as easy as possible. If your presentation is excellent, then they’ll want to work with you again.
Remember, the long-term goal is to build a personal relationship with your preferred media outlet. Once you achieve this, you can be sure of easy publicity and more brand awareness.
5. To Follow Up or Not to Follow Up?
Journalists inboxes are filled with pitches; therefore, it is quite possible that yours might get lost. If you don’t get any response from a journalist, put a call through. Attempt to find out if they received your pitch or not.
However, don’t overdo things. As important as follow up calls are, you do not want to irritate your contact with too many of them. Avoid calling the journalist immediately after sending your pitch. Or too frequently after the first call.
You can send a reminder email a few days after your pitch. Too many follow-up attempts can make a journalist blacklist you. On the other hand, no follow up attempts might keep you waiting forever.
So, find a balance, and you will increase your chances of success for both current and future pitches.
Do your best to avoid all these mistakes and be on your way to mastering the art of perfectly pitching stories to media.
Gain publicity, reach your ideal clients and generate massive income. Happy pitching!