How to write a successful media pitch in 2023


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How to write a successful media pitch in 2023

From research and keep it concise to keep your tone in mind, here are 13 answers to the question, “What are your best tips for writing a successful media pitch in 2023?”

  • Tell, Don’t Sell
  • Keep Your Tone in Mind
  • Properly Identify Your Target Audience
  • Adopt News Values
  • Follow the Personalize, Qualify, Answer (PQA) Formula
  • Research and Keep It Concise
  • Provide Authenticity and Value
  • Set Reminders for Follow-ups
  • State Your Purpose in a Clear, Succinct Way
  • Take Risks and Try Something New
  • Give Journalists What They Want
  • Use a Catchy Subject Line
  • Ensure Novelty

Tell, Don’t Sell

Tell rather than sell. For example, brand storytelling is probably the most important aspect of a successful media pitch, because it’s your story that makes people care. While a pitch is supposed to do exactly that, it’s also supposed to draw a connection between your business and your audience that gives them a reason to become invested. Without brand storytelling, your pitch is more of a cold sale than anything else.

John Berry, CEO & Managing Partner, Berry Law

Keep Your Tone in Mind

As you’re writing your pitch, keep your tone in mind. The tone of your pitch will dictate how your target audience perceives you. You can be informative and persuasive in the right tone. You can also be over the top and annoying with an inappropriate tone.

Before you write your pitch, think about the type of person you would enjoy talking to about the subject. If you wouldn’t have fun chatting with them, then your audience probably won’t either. Once you have a tone that you think is right, ask others to read your pitch and let you know how they perceive you. The pitch isn’t finished until you get a positive response from your target audience.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

Properly Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is important for writing a successful media pitch because it helps tailor a pitch to the specific needs and interests of the targeted journalists or outlets. By understanding the audience that a particular journalist or outlet serves, it is possible to craft a pitch that speaks to their specific concerns and interests and is more likely to catch their attention.

For example, if you are targeting a journalist who writes about business and finance, it is important to highlight how your pitch relates to those topics and how it could interest their readers.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, UK Passport Photo

Adopt News Values

Great news or stories should contain several values in order to be newsworthy or worthy of being shared by the media. These values are called news values, which are combinations of various factors, such as the impact of the story, human interest, timeliness, proximity, conflict, and prominence.

When we pitch to the media, we should consider those things, for example, what kind of impact will my brand or this story have on the readers, is the theme or topic of the pitch trending at the moment, or whether the subject, brand, or figure is something that is familiar to the audience. These are important to capture the interest of the media and the audience.

Georgi Todorov, Founder, ThriveMyWay

Follow the Personalize, Qualify, Answer (PQA) Formula

I sent over 200 media pitches in 2022 and earned nearly 100 placements, including features with Business Insider and Time. When responding to media pitch requests, I developed what I call the PQA Formula: Personalize, Qualify, Answer.

I personalize my pitch using the editor/writer’s name or a warm, friendly greeting if the name is unknown. Next, I qualify myself in the first sentence of my pitch, aiming to show them I have the authority to answer their question or respond to their query. Last, I answer their query as succinctly as possible; it’s a pitch, not a full article or feature, so I keep my response to 3-5 sentences, being thorough enough to give them an idea of what I can contribute, but staying on topic. I also include a CTA to contact me if they’re interested or need more info. The easier I make it on them, the more likely I am to get a response.

Alli Hill, Founder & Director, Fleurish Freelance

Research and Keep It Concise

It is important to research the publication or outlet in order to understand the audience and editorial focus of the publication or outlet you are pitching to. This will help you tailor your pitch and increase the chances of it being accepted.

Also, try to keep it concise. Media professionals are often bombarded with pitches, so it is important to make your pitch as concise and to-the-point as possible. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make it easy to read, and be sure to include only the most relevant information.

Clearly explain the value of your story; in order for a media outlet to cover your story, they need to understand its value to their audience. Make it clear why your story is worth covering, and how it will benefit the readers or viewers of the outlet.

Amy Adlerstein, Sr. Retention Marketing Manager, Canvas People

Provide Authenticity and Value

Be authentic. We are living in an age where audiences crave genuine connections with companies and brands, so it’s essential that your pitch reflects this.

To ensure authenticity within your pitch, pay attention to detail. Showing off your brand’s unique personality will help show how you stand out from the competition—something which is key if you want to capture people’s interest and keep them engaged throughout the process. Highlight any areas of expertise that may apply to potential customers or target groups—this could include anything from customer service processes to product features or even company values.

When crafting your message, consider what value it brings, whether this is through entertainment, knowledge, or problem-solving solutions, as well as making sure it resonates with its intended audience by using language they understand and relate to.

Jamie Irwin, Director, Straight Up Search

Set Reminders for Follow-ups

One of the most crucial components of media pitches is to follow up on initial email pitches. Setting reminders to do this is essential because this is where most of your interest and answers will come from.

Make sure you have a lead that will interest the person you are reaching out to before you even write a pitch. Your story’s lead provides the entry point and gives everything context. At the end of your follow-up email, provide your initial pitch to refresh the recipient’s memory and give them more context.

Eva Tian, Growth Strategy Manager, Mynd

State Your Purpose in a Clear, Succinct Way

The subject line is the place to start. Journalists will read this first to gauge their interest in your pitch. Finding a distinct justification for your pitch comes next. Is it a business announcement, executive interview, or product launch?

Put as much information in as few words as possible. No journalist wants to read a 1,000-word monstrous pitch, but most people can easily spare a moment to go through 150-200 words.

Include key phrases or keywords that are connected to the subject matter of the journalist’s coverage, as well as the pitch you are making. Show that you have done your homework and you know why you are pitching them.

Milosz Krasinski, International SEO Consultant & Owner, Chilli Fruit Web Consulting

Take Risks and Try Something New

In 2023, media pitches are an important tool in getting your message out to the right people. Here’s my best tip for writing a successful media pitch: get creative! Don’t just rely on what you already know or have seen done before. Think of new angles that no one has thought of yet.

Brainstorm ideas and put them down on paper first, then refine them into an effective narrative. When it comes to pitching your story idea to the media, it’s not enough to be well-informed and articulate; you need to stand out from the crowd.

Make sure your pitch is clear, concise, original, and attention-grabbing—this will increase the chances that someone will take notice and give you the opportunity you deserve! Don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new. You never know, you might just find the perfect pitch for success. Good luck with your media pitch!

Ai Hiura, CMO & Co-Founder, Faverie

Give Journalists What They Want

It’s easier to find contact information now, but the pitch that stands out will apply to what the journalist covers. The best pitch will highlight a timely event, expert opinion, or tip that brings value to that journalist’s audience.

Samantha McCoy, CEO, MissionKey Communications, LLC

Use a Catchy Subject Line

Your subject line is the first thing a journalist will see when they receive your pitch, and it can determine whether they open and read your email or delete it without reading it. To create a catchy subject line, try to think about what will grab the attention of your audience and make them want to read more.

Some elements that can make a subject line effective include using strong, active verbs, including numbers or statistics, and making a clear and interesting promise of what the reader will get if they open the email.

Nyla Rose, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Beast Beauty

Ensure Novelty

Journalists are interested in pitches that are inspiring, publishable stories—the kind that connects to the interests of their audiences. The best tip for writing a successful media pitch is to ensure novelty and show how it will relate to the journalist’s audience.

To do this, ensure that there is a conflict that the audience identifies with. Connect their human interest with a character that then works to resolve this conflict in a manner that inspires them. Join these two points with storytelling, and you have a winner. Journalists will pick up or follow up on a pitch that meets this crucial criterion.

Alvin Wei, CMO, SEO Ant

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