April 19, 2024

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Media pitching mistakes to avoid

Capturing the attention of journalists is an achievement. Although pitching is considered to be the lifeblood of PR, it is a challenging task. Some PR professionals might take pride in knowing the most effective ways to pitch to journalists, but everyone makes mistakes. A lot of hard work goes into pitching the media and it has to result in media coverage. Media pitches should not be ignored and they should definitely be not sent to the recycle bin. Given below are pitching mistakes that should be avoided so that the credibility of a PR professional is not weakened.

Lack of adequate research

It is very important to familiarize oneself with the media where one will pitch. The relevant journalist who will cover the news have to be identified. The research should include not only the bio of the journalist but also diving into those articles of theirs that resonate with what is being pitched.

Not having an interesting subject line

A subject line will be the main reason why a journalist will open an email. Whether a pitch is written or responded to will depend on the subject line. The subject line of a pitch should get it noticed. It should not be too long or too short. For instance, if the subject line of an email is ‘story’, a journalist might not feel motivated enough to read it. On the other hand, if the subject line includes the entire story, the journalist might not feel motivated enough to read it at all. Many emails are read on mobile and if the subject line is too wordy, it might get cut off on the mobile. It should ideally be somewhere between six to ten words.The subject line should be catchy and it should arouse curiosity. If it is not interesting, then a journalist might assume that it is not important.

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Poorly written pitch

A journalist will get turned off by a pitch that has been poorly written. If there are spelling and grammatical errors, the story might get immediately rejected, even if it is of superior quality. Before sending a pitch to the media, it is better to double or triple check spelling and grammar. Online tools like Grammarly can also be used before hitting send. The worst mistake one can make is to misspell the journalist’s name.  If an older pitch is being used as a guideline, one should use the name of the new contact.

Multiple follow ups

It is not that journalists dislike follow ups. It is just that they do not like being bombarded with follow ups as they receive numerous pitches per day. They dislike numerous emails that follow up the original email. Sending another message through yet another channel such as social media should also be avoided. A reminder email can be sent a few days after the initial pitch has been sent. If there are no responses after follow ups, a call can be made. One should not forget to thank the journalist if they have given coverage.

Discover more from Ronn Torossian

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