Sometimes when we’re working on certain projects, I send out queries through Help a Reporter Out (HARO). These queries put me on the receiving end of public relations pitches. In my business as a publisher and marketing specialist I spend half my day doing public relations activities. I often pitch the media myself. I thought I would take this opportunity to share some tips I’ve learned from being on the receiving end of pitches.
Here are things that DON’T work:
One-line pitches show laziness on the publicist’s part to not even attempt to convince me while his/her client is ideal for my project. I actually feel annoyed when I read a pitch that goes like this: my client Joe is perfect for your project. You can see that gives me nothing to go on. And the inherent expectation is for me to do my “homework” on Joe and be convinced.
Suggesting I watch this video or go to this website or read all of the articles is another sign of sloppy public relations work. Imagine this one: I’m sorting through 100 pitches (true for this project). Instead of convincing me why your client is perfect you’re asking me to cull through your client’s materials to make a determination. As noted, I’m sorting through 100 pitches – most of which don’t ask me to do additional research. Think about it. Am I going to give your client whom I have no idea is an ideal fit (because you didn’t tell me) an extra 30 minutes or so of my valuable time to research if he/she works for me or not?
Here are things that DO work:
A well-written pitch that builds the case for why your client should be featured wins. This means your pitch is well developed and thought out. You’ve written something that makes sense and convinces me your client fits.
Further your pitch answers the query/question and targets what is wanted. Your well-written pitch shows you understand what I am looking for in a client to feature. You read the requirements – and you show me why your client meets the requirements.