Do your subject lines look like spam?

A lot of different things in the email inbox—not necessarily all work-related—are vying for a reporter’s attention. To compete successfully, you must first prove you’re a human being.

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For good or for bad, lots of media relations work is done by email. We want journalists and producers to open and respond to our emails out of the hundreds they receive each day.

Beyond pitches, we’re competing against real life: stories they’re actively working on, demands from the boss, even emails from the spouse about home stuff.

It’s tough to be seen among such volume, so we media relations folks examine everything: What’s the best time to send an email? How much follow-up is OK? Is the pitch short enough? Are we on target, or is there a better person to pitch?

These days, we can tell within hours which Facebook ad is doing well for a social media client, but there isn’t such instant feedback available for media relations pitches. Short of hard data, though, here’s what I know regarding approaches to pitch subject lines:

Twitter is your friend

Spend a few minutes looking at someone’s feed before you pitch, even when you’ve already read/seen previous stories to know they are a good fit. (Yes, read those, too.)

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