How to avoid bad pitches in PR?
Pitches or media pitches are short and direct messages emailed to any journalist, editor or media outlet in order to get them interested in your story. They are a short summary version of your messages written to get any news published in any media publication. They are written for various aspects such as product launches, authored articles, opinion pieces, profiling and so on. Pitches are clear, concise, and on the point brief of a story which provides all the necessary information in one go.
Pitches are the basics of any PR profession. Collecting stories, including data and statistics, drafting a quick summary and sharing it with the relevant media is what simply crafting a pitch really is. Pitches are written to get the attention of journalists so that they get invested in the story and publish it in their respective media portals.
As simple as it may sound, journalists receive at least 20-30 pitches on a daily basis. As per the survey of Databox from PR experts, it was found that only 10% of their pitches actually make it to the press. Well, maybe the remaining 90% may not be bad pitches but they are certainly not good enough to be covered. Sometimes while writing the pitches there are certain silly mistakes done by PR executives. Let’s discuss how you can avoid drafting a bad pitch in PR:
A Throughout Research:
Before drafting a pitch, make sure that you include all the key points and highlight them. Doing proper research on what you will be pitching and who you will be pitching is a way to go. It won’t matter if your pitch is great if you don’t research on whom you are going to send it.
Keep it short and relevant:
It is often forgotten that pitches are basically a short brief of the whole story. It should speak of the base of the story without revealing the insides of it. It mainly should consist of basic 5W1H. Journalists are busy people; they do not have time to read a lengthy pitch. So, a pitch should not exceed more than 300 words, it should give them a gist of the story and quickly get to the point without dragging the subject.
Data is eye catchy and numbers speak Data helps in proving your point and shows the statics in general. While going through your pitch a journalist would definitely want some type of proof on whether what you are trying to convey is true or not. Providing data on research, surveys, market analysis, studies, etc. can help in the enhancement of the pitch.
As important as it is to pitch the right journalist, it is also essential to personalize them according to whom you’re pitching. Reading previous articles published by journalists, keeping track on what line he/she writes on, their point of view, writing style, how they communicate their message helps in filtering your pitch and grabbing their attention.
Proofreading and Backlinks:
Re-read your pitch again and again to know whether it will make it to the press’s interest. Checking the grammar, data, vocabulary and editing it accordingly helps to avoid bad pitches being sent to the media. Backing the claims with research and studies while inculcating backlinks helps in making the pitch more engaging.
Providing the journalist with the story:
The pitch note should never be promotional. It should not be written to pitch a company or its product. Associating the pitches with human-interest stories and giving it an emotional context is way better than just straight out writing about the product. Customizing the pitch on any idea, thoughts, unique perspective and appealing to emotions helps to even invest the journalist in the story.
Lastly, giving the best in writing pitches helps in gathering opportunities as well as building a connection with the media. Bad pitches just give an impression of a lack of concern and responsibility. In the end, crafting a good pitch is essential to ensure that it grabs the interest of journalists and editors.