It’s all about the pitch, baby!
As a publicist, the majority of your day is spent pitching and coming up with new and creative ideas to flood editors’ inboxes with. If you are deciding on a career in public relations, we can give you three pieces of advice: 1. Be a good writer. 2. Enjoy writing (you spend about 80% of your day doing this) 3. Channel your inner creativity and learn how to pitch effectively.
As I said, it is all about the pitch…you have one shot to get an editor interested so your pitch better be on point! Here are a few tips on how to make sure you get that attention, hook line & sinker:
Make sure your pitch isn’t too long:
A paragraph is sufficient usually, most editors don’t have the time to read an extensive and drawn out email. They prefer quick, to the point and creative pitches. But, do end your emails with something like “I am happy to provide you with more information regarding (xx) or answer any questions you may have”, if they are interested, they will dig deeper.
Do follow up:
Do follow up with editors if you haven’t heard back after sending a pitch. Sometimes, persistence (with caution) will get you the story.
Include images and videos in your pitch:
If you have pictures or video footage of the brand/product/company, do include a few examples in your pitch. It is always a good idea to provide editors with a visual - and your pitch will stand out!
Do your research:
Make sure you are contacting the appropriate person! Research the editors you are pitching to and make sure they cover topics you are writing about. Editors receive hundreds of emails a day so don’t waste their time or your time with irrelevant beats (topics). With that said, do as much research on editors that you can. What did they write about last? Did they cover a competitor or similar concept? A great tool are PR software systems like Cision and Meltwater that provide you with contact information and topics they cover. Want to know a secret? Utilize social media! Instagram and Twitter are also great ways to find writers.
Try to schedule desk side and in-person meetings with editors:
Meeting editors in-person is key, public relations is all about relationships! If you can build a relationship with them, they are more likely to recognize your name in a sea of press releases. If you do set up a meeting in person, try to bring them a keepsake that best represents you and your client. Provide your contacts with value!