The world of public relations is ever-evolving. From the growth of digital news, social media and the value of search engine optimization, PR pros are now faced with navigating new arenas within our scope of work. Despite these new landscapes, one constant remains: the importance of effectively communicating a client’s brand through pitching.

With such a high importance placed on pitching, ineffective pitches seem to be one of the biggest annoyances voiced by media, and far too often, they are clicked straight to the trash bin. Some of the more common complaints include addressing emails with misspelled names, off-topic story ideas or the most cringeworthy: poor grammar.

See below for a few tips and tricks we use at Lou Hammond Group to craft a better pitch that avoids the trash bin:


  1. Write with a Purpose

A good pitch should answer a few simple questions: “Why now?” Does the angle highlight something new or does it reflect current trends circulating the news? What value does it offer? By answering these basic questions, you create a timely hook for media to consider.


  1. Short and sweet

Writers receive a thousand pitches a day and barely have time to skim each one, especially when they are a little too long-winded. Avoid the pitfalls of “over-fluffing” by determining the critical points of the story and sticking to them. To add additional background details without cluttering the pitch, include links to external sources or previous press releases. You can also present a call-to-action and offer the opportunity to interview your client, if the writer is interested.


  1. Know your audience

When pitching writers, you are essentially asking them to dedicate their time to research and write about your client. Show them the same respect and do your homework on what topics they like to cover. That means brushing up on their previous work to make sure your pitch is of interest to them and their readers.


  1. Make it personal

Don’t be afraid to customize your pitches based on a writer’s previous work and highlight why your story idea is newsworthy. Journalists need to be shown why the story you are selling is 1) relevant to them and 2) why the story is relevant to their readers. A personalized note always goes a long way. Even if the writer does not use your first story idea, they might be more receptive to your next pitch. Above all, avoid sending out the generic email that is an obvious copy-and-paste job, or even worse, blind-copied to media.


  1. Understand your client’s story

This one might seem a little obvious, but to craft an authentic pitch, you must understand how each story you are presenting contributes to the bigger picture of a client’s brand. While a pitch should be a direct message, it can still read differently to each writer. For example, if a client is a restaurant that recently promoted a young female to executive chef, there are several angles of potential interest: young chef, female chef, new menus, etc. By having a full grasp of how a story can be interpreted, you can better equip yourself to pursue all possible story angles.


The above tips are just a sampling of our best practices, with majority of the work done prior to even emailing the actual pitch. While it may seem time-consuming, remember that the ultimate takeaway is to consider each pitch as an opportunity to further build your relationships with media and writers.


Happy pitching!

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