In a world where email has become the primary method of business communication, editors are sifting through hundreds of messages a day looking for their next story. If your PR pitch doesn’t appeal to them… into the email trash bin it goes. Or it’s simply bypassed and forgotten about. This is what happens to about 90% of pitches. Here’s how to not let that happen to yours….
One thing you don’t want to do is waste your time emailing editors that are not in your brand’s niche. That should go without saying, but surprisingly, it happens. Don’t pitch to Mashable if you have a new organic food product… and don’t pitch to Cosmopolitan Magazine about some bowties and cufflinks. Take time to narrow down the best magazines and blogs according to your niche.
Finding the right editor to contact is also important. Emailing your PR pitch to the generic “firstname.lastname@example.org” may totally go ignored with a big business. (However, it may work with a publication with a small staff.) It’s best to find a blog author’s byline, document their name with the correct spelling, and then start out your email.
Sending a “To whom it may concern….” email is an absolute no-go.
I always emphasize the importance of a good header that makes a person read it and click — not read it and keep scrolling. Again, editors receive a few hundred emails every single day, so your subject line has to say something more than “Hi Mary, take a look at my new product!”
The editor has to think, “What’s in it for me and this story deadline that I have to meet in a few hours?”
If you’re pitching a new product, say for example, a free app for smartphones, your subject line might want to say, “New App Alert: Boomchat Available Now For Download On Apple & Android”.
Editors are always looking for anything new to release to the public so make sure that your first introduction to them is remarkable.
Simply introduce yourself and then get right to the point. Your PR pitch should not be a page-long essay. Less than 10 sentences should suffice. If the editor reaches back out to you and wants to learn more about the brand, then of course give more information. But the initial pitch should be short and sweet. Talk about what makes the product newsworthy. Why is it beneficial? How much does it cost? What size is it? Where can it be bought? What makes it different from similar brands?
Unless you’ve read an editor’s note to not include any media in your email, go ahead and attach a few high-resolution photos or link a video to add some visual content.
One more thing I should mention: if you don’t hear back from the editor after a few days, one or two follow-ups should be enough. And that’s it. Here’s what Julee Wilson from the Huffington Post recently told PR Couture…