Getting a journalist or media outlet to pay attention to your story is the main objective of a media pitch. Even if your business, news, or story is compelling, if you don’t write a media pitch that captures their attention, it will be lost among the hundreds of other PR pitches they receive each day. Knowing exactly what journalists want is crucial for creating a compelling media pitch and is the first step in building long-lasting media relationships.
10 Commandments of Media Pitching// How to Pitch the Media // How to Write a Pitch for a Journalist
Preparing for pitching to the media
Consider using the following strategies to improve your topic, choose the best publication, and establish a long-lasting relationship with a publication before sending your pitch to the media:
What is a media pitch?
An article that a writer would like to write for a particular media outlet is described in a media pitch, which is a concise message that targets that outlet. Media pitches are typically sent to journalists and editors via email, but writers can also reach them in person, on social media, or by phone.
Media outlets and publications from a wide range of industries accept pitches, including:
Tips for pitching to the media
Consider implementing the following tactics to make sure your pitch grabs the attention of journalists and editors:
Keep it brief
Editors may not have time to read every pitch because publications frequently receive a large number of emails each day. Although there are no strict guidelines regarding the length of a media pitch, keeping your content to three paragraphs or less can increase the likelihood that editors will read your pitch.
Stay focused on your topic
Focus on your angle and why it’s a valuable perspective for the publication rather than just on your personal experience with the topic.
Consider rereading your pitch before submitting it to check for spelling and grammar mistakes to make sure editors will take your pitch seriously. Additionally, remember to double-check your subject line and any attachments you intend to send
Time your submission
You can increase the likelihood that an editor will read your pitch by sending it in the middle of the workweek. Pitch submissions from Tuesday through Thursday are typically read by editors the same day, while submissions on Mondays and Fridays may face competition from weekend pitches.
Consider contacting the recipient by phone, email, or social media within a week of submitting your media pitch. This will give an editor the opportunity to connect with you personally, ask questions, and be reminded to read your pitch if they haven’t already.
How to write a media pitch
To create a powerful media pitch for your next article, use the steps below:
1. Determine whether your topic is newsworthy
Consider asking yourself these queries to determine if your topic is newsworthy:
2. Verify the correct recipient
The likelihood that an editor will read your pitch, find your topic interesting, and get in touch with you for more information can be increased by sending it to the appropriate person. Using your media list as a guide, you can make sure that your pitch is delivered to the right person. If you’re still building your media list, you might want to get in touch with the publication and find out who typically receives pitches on your specific topic.
3. Write a captivating email subject line
Since most media outlets accept pitches via email, the subject line is usually your first opportunity to grab an editor’s attention. The pitch and the goal of your email will determine the subject line you use, but effective email subject lines frequently contain the following:
4. Develop a compelling lead
A lead is a hook that appears at the start of a pitch and should encourage readers to keep reading. Determine the pitch’s angle in order to produce an interesting lead. The angle describes the subject or the vantage point from which you are telling your story. Writers typically take the target audience and the types of stories a media outlet publishes into account when choosing what angle to take for a story.
Take into account the two primary types of leads to assist you in creating one:
5. Demonstrate why your story is important
This portion of your media pitch, which is also known as a value proposition, can explain why the publication ought to be interested in your story. You can do this by:
6. Add a call to action
A call to action is the choice you want your intended audience to make, like covering a specific event, getting in touch with you for more information, or publishing your completed piece. Your call to action should be succinct, transparent, and objective to maximize the impact of your media pitch. Instead of explaining how your topic relates to you, emphasize how timely and important it is to the publication and its readers.
7. Conclude your pitch
You can finish your pitch email professionally by:
Media pitch template
To assist you in practicing your pitch to the media, use this template:
Subject: [Engaging subject line]
Dear [Name of the recipient],
[Add your lead here].
[Include any background information required for the lead, such as a time or news peg] [Explain why the topic you’re pitching is important to the magazine and its intended readership] [Include a call to action, such as when an event is taking place or emphasizing the significance of an event]
[Remind a journalist or editor, if appropriate, of any prior interactions you may have had with their publication] [Rephrase the call to action and, if relevant to your topic, include links]
[Thank your recipient].
[Use a professional signoff],
Important published work: [two to three links to your published work, especially if it’s related to your pitch] [Your name] [Your title, if it applies to your pitch] [Your contact information] [Your areas of expertise, if they apply to your proposed article]
Media pitch example
When creating your media pitch, think about loosely adhering to the example below:
*Subject: PITCH: Upcoming interactive poetry event hosted in San Francisco*
How can people from different cultural backgrounds connect?
The Japanese Literature Museum in San Francisco is hosting an interactive, virtual poetry event during National Poetry Month to bring people together through narrative and verse. I’d like to compose a 1,000–2,000 word article about this occasion in order to introduce readers to diverse, up-and-coming poets from around the world.
I plan to share information about the project and ways readers can participate, like checking out the Connecting Through Story livestream the museum hosts every Saturday night and adding their own verses in the chat. Additionally, I want to talk about the project’s goals and how the museum is compiling the poems into a free online book. At www, readers can learn more about the Connecting Through Story project and contribute their own poetry. connectingthroughstory. org.
Thank you for your time.
Freelance Arts and Culture Writer
MA, Japanese Translation
Work of note: San Francisco’s Japanese Community Goes Virtual, How to Write a Haiku, Why Japanese Literature is Important
How do you pitch an idea to the media?
- It’s a cliché, but consider what the worst that can occur before acting. This is known as the “Dr. Pepper principle.”
- Take the ‘So What’ test. …
- Be on target. …
- Preparation, preparation, preparation. …
- Make it personal. …
- Do the donkey work. …
- Keep it brief and keep listening. …
- Be open to ideas.
What should a media pitch include?
Like any other pitch, it should succinctly state the concept, the relevance of the concept, and your qualifications as the author. Keep your contacts warm by sending polite follow-ups to your pitches and staying in touch with journalists you’ve previously worked with.