As mentioned in the previous blog “Media pitching: A guide to get your press coverages”, a well-presented pitch email could help your press release go a long way. Earning the media’s attention is a rigorous battlefield among brands. In this article, we’ll go into details on how you can improve your pitching content to win the journalist’s heart among hundreds of competitors.
To: Choosing the right target
To whom should you send your press release? In short, send it to someone who collects news and can endorse it for publication. This person might vary depends on the media landscape of where you come from, ranging from journalists, reporters, editors, to even editor-in-chief. For example:
- In Vietnam, press releases are usually addressed to journalists because they are the ones who usually write up the articles. While Editors-in-Chief hold the ultimate power and influence in the newsrooms, they might have too much on their hands and could ignore your press release.
- For international media, we usually send our press release to editors who can assign the stories, and interview pitch to reporters/journalists.
Don’t send your email to irrelevant people. Before sending out a press release, be sure to check if your media list is up-to-date, especially if you’re sending out your press release after a long period of time. Journalists might have moved to another column, or switch to another position within the editorial office.
Subject line: Love at first sight
The subject line is the first thing that’ll come into contact with the journalist.
#Length: Keep it short, simple, and straight to the point. While the subject line allows up to a few hundred characters, the optimum length that your subject line should have is between 60 – 80 characters (or 8 – 10 words).
#Message: The subject line should address what you’re mentioning in the press release and give the journalist a hint of what the email’s content is about. Don’t use vague subject lines such as ‘Don’t miss out on XXX’ or ‘September updates from XXX’. To capture the journalist’s interest, the PR professionals could relate to the latest headlines in the market, quote newsworthy data, or make a connection to a relevant topic that the journalist is covering.
Note: While trying to make your subject line interesting, be aware of triggering spam filters for clickbait, excessive use of capital letters/punctuation/formatting.
Email content: Demonstrate your charms
- The hook:
– Don’t waste your first sentences on a lengthy introduction. Quote the newsworthy piece of information of your press release.
– You can attract a journalist’s interest by aligning your press release content with his/her recent interest.
– State your intention and give a call-to-action (e.g. take a look at the article, write a review, conduct an interview, get in touch with you, mention your company’s info in their articles, …)
- Highlight the values:
– Use bullet points to describe the main discussion of the press release
– Indicate how it might be of value to the audience/readers. Demonstrate your newsworthiness (with backup data, trends, insights, etc.) and let the journalists know why they should publish your article.
- Ending notes:
– Wrap up the email with thanks and call-to-action.
– Provide your contact info for the journalists in case they have additional questions.
– Double-check for any spelling or grammar mistakes.
– Don’t forget your attachments (press release document & associate images). Considering that journalists could check emails using their phones on the go, they might not prone to open an attachment. In this case, you can provide the content of the press release in full text after the ending notes to eliminate the chances that they forget about your press release.
– Optimum length: you don’t have to worry as long as the information is interesting. However, try to keep it concise. A study by Constant Contact, analyzing 2.1 million emails, suggested that an email with 20 lines of text (approximate 200 words) has the highest return.
While this is the most basic guideline, the rest is up to you to arrange words and ideas into a captivating pitch email. Depend on your relationship with the journalists, you can tailor the email to their style and increase the chance of getting published. With years of experience and extensive relations with local media, EloQ Communications is confident to support brands in writing up media pitches and distributing their latest press release to the local audience.