If you’re an editor or owner of a blog it’s likely that you’ll receive many pitches a day. It can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, and I often feel overwhelmed when I open my inbox and see a hefty number of emails from PR representatives, brands or individuals pitching themselves or an idea to me.
Ultimately, you want your pitch to be accepted and gain recognition in print, broadcast or online. There are important ways to go about this, and as someone who has been on both sides of the fence; here are some of my top tips for emailing a standout pitch to an editor.
Start off with a friendly (but not over-familiar) personal message: a simple ‘Hope this email finds you well’ is a great way to start off the email. It’s also important to personalize the ‘Dear…’ field as there’s nothing more off-putting then being part of a mass email.
Place the release in the body of the email: journalists and editors don’t have time to open attachments, and I am always very wary of receiving attachments from individuals that I don’t know. Placing the release in the body of the email allows the recipient to simply copy and paste into the program they’re working in.
Include up to date contact details: check that your template has your up to date contact details and include the relevant links to social media channels. If I’m sharing a story that I’ve written on Twitter I like to have the individual or brand’s handle to hand so I don’t have to spend time searching for it.
Check your attachments: we’ve all hit send without attaching that all important photo or file! Double and triple check that your attachment is there… and that it’s the right one!
Send time, profile and know the deadlines: it’s important to research the deadline of your media outlet and what their turnaround time is. It’s also important to keep the profile of the individual up to date. If they live abroad make sure this is included in your database. There’s nothing quite frustrating as promising an editor or a journalist a sample other than to let them down by being unable to ship internationally.
Follow up etiquette: I wait 24-48 hours before following up an email. From personal experience, those who send me a reminder or a ‘Have you received my email’ message in quick succession probably won’t hear from me. Nobody likes to be hassled, and like you, your recipient is likely to be working to deadlines.
Don’t send the same email over and over: this is one of my top hates! Once I received the same pitch six times despite telling the individual from the start that I wasn’t interested. This hasn’t boded well for any potential future relationship!
Phone only if you know they accept calls: if a journalist has expressly stated that they don’t like to be cold called then don’t do it!
How have you sent the perfect pitch? Have you received one a pitch that has been standout? Let us know!