It’s been a few years since I left the newsroom, but in my time as a reporter I saw enough bad pitches in my email inbox to give me nightmares to this day.
Now that I have joined the “dark side,” as reporters like to call it, I want to share the six steps to not just writing the pitch of a reporter’s dreams, but that can also cut through the clutter and get your clients in the news.
1. Remember that you are a bull rider. With continuing consolidation and increased demands, journalists are busy. Others are just lazy. Either way, you have about eight seconds before the journalist bucks you off of his back and hits the delete button. Make those seconds count.
2. Get past the preview pane. Six of those eight seconds will be spent reading your subject line, so it stands to reason this is where you should focus the bulk of your creative efforts. Is it worthy enough to warrant reading on, or is it destined for delete? Easily, eight out of 10 PR pitches I got in my inbox were never opened because the subject line didn’t hook me. Give the journalist just a nugget. Tease them. Think of that tempting Yahoo!, Buzzfeed, or Mashable headline that you just had to click on. Make that your subject line.