How do you write a PR Pitch?

Hey you! Yes, you – marketing, PR and small business people bombarding every journalist you find on the internet with an irrelevant email or a media release long enough to write the damn article yourself. How do you write a PR Pitch?

It’s time to look at the facts. Journalists aren’t responding. Or are – angrily. They’re bombarded by your public relations pitches. You’ve spelt their name wrong. And they don’t work where you say they do because you don’t know how that happened?!? Is your business or client newsworthy? Probably, there’s an angle everywhere. You just couldn’t articulate it. As the Director of Sydney PR, we’ve had our clients (both big and small) across every publication that exists. We haven’t always gotten it right, no one’s perfect, but we sure as hell do know how to find opportunity and own them for our clients: How do you write a PR Pitch?

 Here are a few tips we learnt along 4 years of trial and error.

How do you write a PR Pitch?
1) Give the people what they want
Knowing people is an art. It’s a skill developed over years of talking, schmoozing, listening and being around all sorts of personalities. Nonetheless writing a good PR pitch is an art. Business relationship building is about genuinely understanding the other person’s needs and wants and fulfilling them. In the case of respected journalists, prove your worth. They want a good, truthful, never-written-about-before, newsworthy story. So do just that. Be honest. Who is your client? What do they do? Suggest a story… but also ask them what they think so they have the opportunity to suggest their own angle. They’re not going to just take your story and publish it on the first page of The Daily Telegraph because you told them it was EXCLUSIVE. Please also erase the word “EXCLUSIVE” from your vocabulary.

How do you write a PR Pitch?
2) Less is more
We know, we know. You went to university. They taught you to write a lengthy media release… “Give them ALL the information” they said. Yes, but also, no. Instead, send a few simple sentences and be straight to the point. WHO is your journalist? What do they write about? READ some of their stories and perhaps reference one. WHAT are you offering them? Be precise. Be clear. Do you know of the next Nutella craze? Can you offer them statistics on a particular topic? WHY your story will benefit their readers. Because it’s not about you.

This is enough information. If the journalist is interested they’ll ask you to:
A) answer a few questions
B) ask you to connect them with a spokesperson via interview or phone
C) ask for a media release and high res photography.

Showcase why your PR story will drive traffic. Why it will resonate with their existing or a new audience.

How do you write a PR Pitch?
3) Choose your words wisely
Adding to the, don’t use the word exclusive if it’s not really an exclusive point. Also avoid:
• “Can you help us get the word out?” (unless you want the response to be NO)
• “HYPE”
• “REVOLUTIONARY” “WORLD CLASS” and anything that’s “GROUND BREAKING” Not only will they call BS on what you’re saying (because you’re emailing actual human beings here) they’ll simply skim past your email as they’ve read those same words over and over and over again in BAD pitches.

How do you write a PR Pitch?
4) Avoid emailing the same PR pitch to journalists from the same media company
This one’s a hard habit to crack and it’s happened to us when we’re desperately trying to secure a good story for a well deserving client. However journalists do talk, and it doesn’t increase your odds. They discuss the pitches they receive and what stories they’re working on. If you have a story that may apply to 1-2 journalists within that company, include and address them BOTH in the same email chain and explain why they’re both in there.

How do you write a PR Pitch?
5) Remove formatting if you have copy pasted
This one is my absolute pet peeve. Our SPR coordinators know that as soon as I see a purple COPY/PASTE job to anyone for that matter I’m the first to gun them down!

A few more public relations tips: How do you write a PR Pitch?
1) Why not follow the journalist on Twitter or Instagram before pitching to them so they’ve seen your name before they receive your email, and recognise who you are!
2) Spend your time more wisely, research, as opposed to bulk emailing.
3) Spend time on your subject line – what’s the point?
4) Contrary to popular belief, avoid sending attachments in your first email. Likely it’ll be spammed or blend in with the crowd.

Here is an example campaign for our client JLL (Southgate and Eastgate Shopping centre) that generated more than 1,801,513 total exposure 19,003 total interactions:

How do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - MarketingHow do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - MarketingHow do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - Marketing

How do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - MarketingHow do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - Marketing

How do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - MarketingHow do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - MarketingHow do you write a PR Pitch? Public Relations Statistics - Marketing

All in all, I hope these few pointers help in generating a better understanding of the PR world and how to generate media attention for your clients or yourself! This article was written for our Phlanx.com platform of which The PR Boss is a Co-Founder.

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