Writing a killer media pitch is the key to getting your story noticed and, most importantly, covered and shared. It has to be articulate, engaging, and newsworthy. If you have a special story and want to bring it into the spotlight, you’re going to need a guide on how to write a media pitch. Luckily, you’re in the right place. Read on to find out all about media pitches and how to prepare for them, plus get some real-life media pitch examples that got hooked.
What is a Media Pitch?
Before learning how to write one, you should know what a media pitch really is. A media pitch is a proposal about a story sent to journalists and media reporters. This proposal usually contains a summary of the story, why it is important, and the value it will bring.
The ultimate goal of a media pitch is to get media outlets so hooked on your story that they decide to cover it. Such media pitches are almost always sent through email, although they can also be done through social platforms or by phone. But why should you do it at all?
Why Is Media Pitching Important?
If your product or project is featured in an article, it’s bound to get more eyes on it. If it’s targeted well enough, you will also engage new customers. Essentially, media pitching is your ticket to spreading the word about your product/project.
Since your pitch letter will convey the importance of your story, along with special details that can catch a reporter’s eye, it can make or break your success.
What It Shouldn’t Be Confused With
Media pitches are often confused or grouped with press releases. Although the similarities are there, these two are still very different. The reason that they are confused is the message behind each of them. Both of them try to convince the reader that the story is worth covering. However, a media pitch is an outreach directed at journalists, presenting a summary and showing the value of the story. On the other hand, a press release contains details and data about your story.
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Steps Before Writing a Pitch Letter
In learning how to write a media pitch, it’s crucial to know how to set it up for success. There are 4 significant steps you can take to make sure your media pitch will be well received. So, here’s what you should keep in mind before starting your perfect pitch letter.
Get To Know Your Audience
Just like with any piece of writing, you must understand what makes your reader tick. You have to get in their mindset and craft your pitch letter in the most enticing way possible. Instead of asking for a favor, demonstrate the benefits your story can bring them – show the value of your piece.
How You Should/shouldn’t Be
Keeping your audience in mind, you must set the tone of voice and rules for your pitch letter. Do you want to come off as funny? Should you use strictly professional lingo, or do you find it right to use slang terminology? All such questions must be answered before you begin creating your media pitch. It will be helpful to look at some best practices, but always remember to customize your pitch to the audience’s preferences.
Make Sure Your Story Is Newsworthy
There’s no doubt that you want your story to be heard. But is it going to engage, shock, or entertain its readers as much as you think? Since you’re going to spend a significant amount of time writing up your pitch, you need to be sure that your story is newsworthy. It’s one of the primary things journalists will look for when reading your pitch letter.
Target Relevant Media Contacts
If you want your story to reach its relevant audience, you must target your media pitches at hand-picked, appropriate media contacts. It’s beneficial both for you and the media outlet if your story matches the preferences of the readers.
Media Pitch Examples That Got Hooked.
You can always learn the technical side of something, but you need to see it in action to get a clearer picture. In this case, if you want to learn how to write a media pitch, looking at a media pitch example is a crucial step.
We asked our PR experts to share some key insights from a recent project, along with other notice-worthy media pitch examples. Read on to see some of our pitch emails that got hooked.
For journalists, it’s extremely time-consuming to read media pitches with long intros and deviations from main product advantages. To make it easier for them, we created a structured pitch for our product UVMask. We divided the pitch into 4 distinct parts.
1) Short info on the product
2) Story behind
The idea was to make navigation throughout the pitch virtually straightforward. This way, they can easily find the part that’s most relevant for them with a bold title without going through unnecessary information.
Media pitch example #1:
Other pitch examples from our PR experts:
Our research team found that most top-tier media have the same type of visuals attached to articles. They have a solid background with a transparent photo of the product on it. Based on this info, we created the UVMask project with a similar visual touch and outreached to journalists writing in the top media.
Media pitch example #2:
Journalists love when products have similar features or are inspired by other well-known brands. So here, we decided to do the relative pitch, comparing our client’s product (PomaBrush) with Apple’s products.
Media pitch example #3:
The General Media Pitch Structure
If you’re new to PR pitches, you’ll want to follow the best practices available out there. Usually, after having done your research, you should look at a general media pitch structure and some PR pitch letters. Here’s our recommended pitch email structure.
- Introduction/Hook: Since this is the first thing the journalist will read, it has to be extraordinarily eye-catching. You have to start off on the right foot.
- General info about the product/project: In the second part, you should get to the point – explain the product and list 2 of the most special things about it.
- The story: Here is where you get a little sentimental and give some background about the creation of the product.
- References/Links: Add hyperlinks to your landing page and other relevant sources.
- Images: Show off the product/project with visuals.
- CTA: Ask the journalist to get in contact with you if they are interested in further details.
Tips on How to Write a Media Pitch
Now that you know how to write a PR pitch, let’s talk about how you can write an amazing one. Considering your product and its backstory is newsworthy, other small but significant elements will make or break your pitch email. Here are 4 tips from our PR experts.
The subject line is the biggest hook!
When you get an email with a killer subject line, you can’t help but check it out, right? The first step towards getting your pitch noticed is ultimately the subject line. It has to be so catchy and intriguing that the reader can’t go another second without reading the contents. Shock them or target their pain point. Either way, make sure it stands out and doesn’t go unnoticed.
Pay extra attention to the first sentence!
After the reader is hooked by the subject line, it’s time for the first sentence to reel them in. This is where the reader decides if they will keep on reading further. You can ask a question, state a fact, offer a limited deal, etc. It all comes down to the tone of voice and audience-specific preferences.
Be professional – avoid typos!
The last thing you want is for your PR pitch to come off as a scam. This is why you need to write in a professional manner. Write a proper greeting, pay attention to grammar, and avoid typos at all costs.
Proofread your pitch before hitting send
We’re all humans; we can make mistakes. Proofreading your pitch letter is just a safety measure to make sure you didn’t miss anything. It can also be a chance to read your media pitch with a fresh eye from the reader’s perspective.
Closing Your Email
Most writers prefer receiving media pitches with 100-200 words, so you have to make it count. You can put your CTA or offer in the last sentence of your pitch to give directions on the next steps. Be warm but don’t cross the line and make it too long.
Regardless of whether you want to come off as friendly or serious, it would be best if you always kept it professional. “Best regards” or “Thanks for your consideration” as a goodbye are both acceptable ways to go when closing your email.
How to Follow-up Efficiently
If it’s been a couple of days since you sent a media pitch but didn’t get a reply, it can be for a couple of reasons. Maybe the journalist never got your email, hasn’t checked it yet or wasn’t interested. Regardless of the reason, following up is always a good idea. Here are a couple of rules to help you follow up efficiently:
- Follow up 3-7 days after sending your pitch letter
- Just 1 follow-up email is enough and is most preferred by journalists
- Never send more than 3 follow-up emails
- Don’t go too deep; simply ask again if they are interested
Take Advantage of Available Resources
You can always improve your media pitch. Luckily, there’s a plethora of information available online for you to go through. You could also go through your emails and find inspiration there. Brands are constantly finding new ways to catch your attention, and you can definitely learn from them too.
To summarize, always check for tips and tricks before writing your next media pitch.