Published On: June 30, 2020By

It’s no secret that journalists and media outlets can get hundreds of pitch emails a week. When you’re up against that many pitches, it’s important to set yourself up for success and differentiate yourself in a good way (we already know there are a lot of bad ways to do that). Here are five simple but effective ways to get your media pitch noticed.

  1. Put An Emphasis On Multimedia

We’ve covered the importance of using multimedia in your press release extensively already, but did you know that according to CISION’s 2022 Global State of the Media Report 1 in 5 journalists explicitly want PR professionals to include multimedia in their pitches? What’s more, 1 in 2 are more likely to cover a story if provided with multimedia. We live in a time where visuals are more important than ever, and journalists know this. By making their lives easier you stand a better chance of having your story covered. 

  1. Understand Your Target Audience 

We’ve already established that journalists get a lot of emails. And it turns out a lot of them aren’t even pertinent to what the journalist writes about. If the graphic below is any indication, more than half of the pitches in a journalist’s inbox aren’t even related to the stories they cover. This creates an opportunity to differentiate yourself: research a journalist (read their bio, find them on Twitter, read some recent work), and ensure you’re pitching to the person who’s most likely to cover your story. 

Graph showing that reporters consider only one per cent of pitches they receive to be relevant. 
  1. Make Your Headline Work For You

Getting a journalist to open your email can be a task in itself, so you want to ensure that you grab their attention, and keep it. This means crafting a headline that engages and communicates your message clearly and effectively. According to CISION, the best performing press release headlines aim for around 88 words. Action words also receive better engagement. See below for some examples. 

Photo of action words that receive the most engagement: release, rolls out, show, award, empower, launch, prove, enable, publish, allow, expand, reveal, announce, confirm. 
  1. Time It Right

Standard practice indicates that a press release should go out early in the morning and during the week to ensure a higher chance of coverage. While this holds true in most cases, it never hurts to try new tactics, so long as they rely on data. Software like Propel will provide you with data on the best times to pitch certain journalists and media outlets. If a journalist’s open rate is higher on a Friday morning, try sending it then. Of course, be mindful of holidays and other breaking news. 

  1. Format For Success

Avoid the dreaded “F-scan” by formatting your pitch in a way that readily engages the reader. This means offering a clear call to action, limiting paragraphs to 3-4 sentences, providing meaningful quotes, using bullet points where necessary and avoiding burying the lead. We’re probably preaching to the choir here, but oftentimes bad habits make our way into pitches leading to chunks of information being missed by the journalist. 

Photo shows the F-shaped reading pattern with a word box that reads: “Make no mistake, the F-shaped scanning pattern is bad for users and businesses: it means that users may skip important content simply because it appears on the right side of the page. Good web formatting reduces the impact of F-scanning. If your pages have big chunks of unformatted text, people will scan it in an F-shape.” 

We specialize in writing media pitches so our clients get the best possible media coverage for their stories. Have a news story? Reach out and we’d be happy to assist. 

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