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How To Write The Perfect Pitch

Any good publicist knows that a pitch serves one purpose – to pique the interest of a journalist or producer enough to get them to cover your story. So, knowing how to write a good pitch is crucial to getting media placement. AJGpr, your public relations specialist, recommends following these 9 simple steps to writing the perfect pitch:

STEP ONE: Preparation

Ask these questions:
– Do I have a compelling, newsworthy, or interesting story to tell?
– Do I have a clear understanding of my objectives (drive business, create awareness, improve sales, heighten image)?

If the answer is yes to all of the above, then move to Step Two.

STEP TWO: Create Your Media List

Develop a targeted media list that captures all the outlets that might be interested in your story. Be honest with yourself and ask the hard question – is there a place for my story in this magazine/television program/radio show/blog? If the answer is no –then check it off your list.

STEP THREE: Know Your Media Targets

Do your homework. Know you media outlets inside and out. What kind of stories/news items do they feature?  Who is their target audience?  You have to watch the television programs, read the magazines, newspapers, blogs, and listen to the radio shows you are pitching.  If you understand the outlet and their target demographic you will know if your pitch is right for that outlet.

STEP FOUR: Know Your Contacts

If you have a health story, find the producer or editor who covers heath.
Spend the extra effort to discover the best contact at each outlet, the one most likely to be receptive to your pitch. Don’t waste your time blasting a pitch out to a large list, nobody will write about it. Before you begin pitching, you should know without a doubt that you have the right contact for the story you are pitching. Then frame the story/news item in a way that makes it clear to the producer/editor that it fits in with their specific outlet’s approach – otherwise it ends up in the trash. 

STEP FIVE: Craft Your Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing your contact will read – so it has to catch their attention and make them want to open your email and not hit delete.

A good rule for any subject is to be as succinct and to the point as you can.

STEP SIX: Craft Your Opening Sentence

Your opening sentence is key. Here is where you can expand on your subject and hook the reader.   It must be interesting and compelling so that your contact wants to read more.

STEP SEVEN: Craft The Main Body

Once you have readers’ full attention with your subject line and opening sentence, you then want to interest and educate them.  You need to provide information that will resonate with the target publication and answers the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) and the H (how). Use a professional and friendly tone. But make it feel personal. If you have done your homework, your pitch should be something your reader will care about. And remember keep your pitch short and to the point.

STEP EIGHT  Rewrite, Edit and Proofread

Writing a the perfect pitch takes time, so don’t rush. Look at your pitch with a critical eye and when you are satisfied that you have crafted an interesting pitch with a catchy subject line and NO typos…then hit send.

STEP NINE: Follow-up

Journalists get dozens of pitches a day and can’t always read your pitch the moment you send it.  Give it a day or so, sometimes even a week – and if it is a good pitch, which fills their immediate needs, they will contact you. Some will file it away and others will hit delete.  So use your judgment and if you feel inclined to follow-up then send a quick one-sentence email, hitting on the core message of your original pitch and asking for their response.


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