October 03, 2015
/ by Katie Gaab
Pitching is like a science project. Each pitch is an experiment. What you mix and match together can either blow up in your face or make what you were hoping to create.
In order to discover what works best, you must continue to test your pitching techniques. The dependent variable in this case is your writing, the independent variable whom you are pitching. Here are three tips to help you master the chemistry of successful pitching.
Cision’s 2015 Social Journalism Study found that 83 percent of reporters prefer receiving pitches via email. Influencers’ pitching preferences, on the other hand, depend largely on how they communicate with their community.
Use social media to get a better understanding of whom you’ll be reaching out to. Look for what you or your brand has in common with the reporter or influencer. Comment on reporters’ published articles. Share influencers’ insights or news.
Use social media to build a relationship with whom you want to pitch. This step takes time, but once you do it, you’re already much closer to having your pitch read than those who blindly pitch a reporter or influencer.
Want more media coverage? Read Cision’s “HARO Best Practices” to learn how to make your pitches stand out!
Keep your email subject clear and concise like a press release headline. Don’t go overboard with your copy either. Reporters and influencers are busy people and will likely hit the delete button if your email is over five sentences long. Some outlets even say 175 words is enough to determine a pitch’s usability.
If a reporter is looking for pictures, send links to where the files can be downloaded, rather than attaching them directly to your pitch. Attached files are often blocked by firewalls.
If you’ve done your homework and made a connection on social media, you shouldn’t have to add any unnecessary fluff to your pitch.
Tracking whom you’ve pitched, what you sent and when is essential to measuring your pitching success rate. Make a note of who accepted your pitch, where it was used and when.
If your pitch ended up in a reporter or influencer’s trash bin, think about what you could have done differently. Switch up tiny details like the time or day you pitch, which email address you use to send the pitch or how you reach out on social media to find the formula that works best for your brand.
Technology continues to shift the way journalists write and influencers interact with their communities. Don’t give up if your efforts aren’t successful the first time around. Test your methods and then test them again. Trial and error is the way to find your brand’s pitching solution.
Images: Lee Nachtigal, Shaun Fisher (Creative Commons)
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