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  • Writer's pictureHannah @ Hawthorn House PR

7 Ways to make your press pitch stand out

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

You’ve got a brilliant business or personal story, or perhaps a new product, that you want to share with the world. But there is just one problem…

It’s been days, weeks, or even months since you hit the send button on your email pitching your idea to the media and you’ve still not heard anything back.

You send another email, just to check if they’ve got it. But you’re met once again with a resounding silence…

Sound familiar?

Most of us who’ve ever sent a journalist a press release or pitch has been here, so please don’t get disheartened - you’re not alone.

The cold hard truth is: some journalists receive 100’s of story pitches a day and…

Sometimes just having a great story or product isn’t enough.

But fear not…

In the battle to stand out from the piles of pitches that land in journalists' inboxes each day, here are 7 tried and tested tips to help grab their attention, give them what they’re looking for and give your business the best possible chance of landing some profile propelling coverage.

1. Consider: What’s in it for the journalist

Before you hit send on your email to a journalist or blogger always consider: What’s in it for them? Why should they cover your story? Why do their readers, listers, or watchers need to know about what you’ve got to say? And why do they need to know about it now?

If you can communicate this succinctly in an email and get to the point quickly, you may be able to grab their attention before they move on to the next email.

2. Make sure you’re talking to Mr / Mrs. Right

So you’ve decided where you want to share your story, the next step is to decide who you’re going to send it to. I rarely send any news to generic info@ email addresses as you can’t be sure who’s going to receive it. So do your research to find the name of the journalist who has covered similar stories to yours – or at least has an interest in your subject. For example, it’s a waste of everyone’s time if you send a story about a new beauty product to a reporter that specialises in opinion pieces.

3. Make it easy for the journalist to see the story

You have a finite amount of time to show the journalist why they should choose to run with your story. They don’t have the time to read every release so will skim over your email and press release – which is why it’s important to mention the most interesting part of your story (also known as the top line) as soon as you can. Most PR professionals include this in the very first line of your press release - under your header.

4. Give them a reason to open your email

If you want your release to be read, you need to give journalists a reason to open it. Grab the journalist’s attention by creating a compelling subject header that summarises what your story is about. I often start with ‘press release’ or ‘feature idea’ followed by the title of the press release to show the journalists that it is an idea for a story.

5. Paste your press release in the body of the email

Following a short, personalised pitch summarising your story and how it’ll fit in their publication, paste your press release in the body of the email. This will help save the journalist some time and increase your chances of it being read – rather than relying on them to open an attachment.

6. Put yourself out

Quite often, it’s the relationship you’ve nurtured with the journalist that will help you stand out from the vast amount of emails they receive. You can easily help nurture relationships with journalists by helping them find case studies, even if it’s not related to your business. It's you they will remember. This is a great way of building a relationship and trust with a journalist.

7. A picture paints a thousand words…

An old but gold saying, but some stories make it into t

he press because of an eye-catching picture. Even if your photo isn’t going to win any awards, always include a good landscape image to accompany your press release which is around 1MB. Landscape photos are preferred as they are easier to crop.

If this blog post interests you, I’ve created a free ebook on ‘How to PR Yourself in 5 Simple Steps’ available here. Or if you’ve like to chat about how to get more eyes on your business through the power of PR, check out my Wingwoman PR Plan or get in touch for a free 30-minute discovery call.

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