It’s a hard truth, but media – print, online, broadcast, bloggers – receive hundreds of emails a day; and they have to sift through these look for the diamond in the rough. Whether agency or internal, it’s the job of the marketing team to create that diamond. There are many media strategies out there and they all start with a pitch. First impressions are everything; all good email communication starts with the first thing a reporter sees in your pitch, the subject line. If the subject line doesn’t get the editor or producer’s interest, he or she will simply hit “Delete,” and the PR person has failed.
As with much of life, there are no guarantees, but here are 5 media strategies to increase the likelihood that your pitch gets read:
Keep it short.
We live in a mobile world and the likelihood reporters are reading your emails from their phone are high. The small window the PR person has to get his/her point across is now even smaller. Keep the subject line short, to the point and relevant to each reporter.
Related Post: 5 Things to Include in Your Investor Relations Pitch
Clever is good, but don’t confuse.
If you can make the reporter laugh or even just double take, that helps get a pitch opened. On the flip side, if the subject line doesn’t make sense or is too cryptic, it can deter a reporter from opening it all together. A good email pitch needs to strike a balance between being creative and clever, and also being clear and concise.
Use stats if you have them.
If you’re not pitching the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, etc., it is important to make your subject line stand out. Eye-popping stats or bold claims can get a reporter’s attention, especially if they are controversial.
Tell them what you want.
Reporters are busy and they won’t read a pitch that doesn’t get to the point. Be upfront with what you want, starting with the subject line. No matter if you are pitching an exclusive, pre-brief, briefing, a client as a resource, etc. let the reporter know right off the bat.
Make sure it doesn’t read like spam.
The junk folder is your biggest enemy. When crafting a subject line it is important to make sure it doesn’t look like just another spam email. Exclamation marks, ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, and the word “free” are things to avoid in your subject line. These can also be triggers for spam bots, making it so your pitch never even ends up in the reporter’s inbox.
Communication is all about relevancy. This is especially true when contacting reporters. PR teams that research a reporter’s previous articles, likes and preferences, when he/she wants to be contacted and more will achieve a much higher level of engagement, and return on their investment of time.