The Fastball Pitch to The Press
About 1% will accept a cold phone call–so don’t bother. Instead, email your pitch and they will call you. You want to make sure it is media-centric–not egocentric. It is not about you–it is about, “why would his audience care about this.”
Kill the superlatives and never an exclamation point. No hype, just the facts, not the fireworks. Don’t use FREE, Offer – nothing spammy. It should be conversational–tell stories.
Your subject should be concise, “Hey Jeff–story idea…” Not something cutesy or you’re looking to get black-listed (and they look for an excuse).
Initially, and about twice a year you should pitch “expert branding.” Your expertise is the story. You can provide valuable industry information, unique survey data, graphs, case studies.
What about follow-up emails. There should be lots of follow-up emails (he does one about once every 10 days during a campaign). Some writers like your pitch idea, but are buried with a current story–but would like to get a reminder. You might vary the angle but keep to the same topic–don’t just switch over a new topic each month.
Do not do a monthly pitch–that’s not helping. Stay on target until you get a response. Also, the key is to help–don’t hinder.
Some will tell you they have changed their beat but will tell you what to pitch them on if they like your approach.
Regarding your email format, do NOT use HTML, just text–some will block HTML. Your signature should not be loaded up with tag lines, logos, and links–just gets pushed to spam.
Todd usually starts each day by reviewing any press hits to send to his clients so they can respond quickly by posting it to social media–see if they can make it go viral.
But he says do NOT post the latest hits on your web pages–not while in the process of pitching. Some outlets won’t write about you if they think your topic is already covered. They feel they are late to the dance. They want NEWs.
Pitching is hard work–Todd might email pitches to over 100 different outlets each day.