Each and every one of us has found a way to do something really well and sometimes without even knowing, or understanding, how we did it. For those of us in the public relations profession, pitching is an art form and one that is often not replicated from one individual journalist to the next.
Looking for pitching trends? See our State of Pitching report which analyzes 50 journalists from Coffee with a Journalist to uncover insights about all their pitching preferences.
Fortunately, some folks in our space are willing to share some of their best kept secrets for attracting attention to their pitch and ultimately to their client or brand. I took to Twitter to ask, “What’s one tactic you’ve used successfully to pitch journalists?,” and here is what these PRos had to say.
Nicc Lewis, CEO of Expozive, says:
Simple building open and honest relations – human to human
— Nicc Lewis @ Expozive (@Expozive) April 21, 2021
We often hear a lot of references to the dating world when they are referring to pitching and it’s not that much different. Having a human approach and being honest only helps better your chances of working with a journalist. Believe me, I use this very same tactic in my approach and it works.
Rachel Ford Hutman echoes Nicc’s point above:
Be nice and know their beat.
— Rachel Ford Hutman (@RachelHutman) April 20, 2021
The additional part about knowing their beat is important and it goes well beyond reading their author bio or Twitter description. Take the time to read their work. One of my personal recommendations is to create outlines of who they cover and how. This can help you pitch similar to their writing style and make it easy for them to say yes.
Ashley Graham, of Your Brandista, shares:
Relationship building on social media through comments, engagement, and personal messages.
— Ashley Graham (@yourbrandista) April 20, 2021
There’s a reason Twitter is the top social networking site for journalists. The Twitter team even has a “helpdesk” for journalists to show them how to create articles and help them spread the word. For us at OnePitch, Twitter is our go-to resource for approaching journalists that we want to connect with. Their bio, contact information, and location all can help aid you in reaching out the best way possible.
Speaking of Twitter, Lacey Trejo agrees:
I find Twitter to be extremely helpful. #Journalists post their recent stories, their likes/dislikes and usually they have their own websites in their bios which clearly indicate what they cover
— Lacey Trejo (@LaceyTPR) April 20, 2021
Journalist’s personal websites are a plethora of helpful information about their work portfolio. Many of them include details you otherwise wouldn’t know about from an author page. I find these to be extremely useful for getting further background information on a journalist much like their LinkedIn profile would provide.
And finally, CEO of Propheta Communications, Kevin Mercuri, gives us 3 stellar pitching tips:
Relationship building & research are key. Subscribe to their substack; comment/compliment on their recent work; learn what and how they like to report.
— Kevin Mercuri (@KevinMercuri) April 22, 2021
Substack is blowing up right now and that is another great location to pay close attention to journalist’s written work. Secondary to that, compliments can go a long way. Don’t believe me? Listen to any of our recent Coffee with a Journalist and fast forward to the middle of the episode for the fill-in-the-blank segment. Nearly every single journalist talks about compliments they’ve received from their work. The last one is a tough one but doing your due diligence and research is truly the only way to know this.
We’ve said time and again, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pitching journalists. Each and every one of has their own preferences and unique ways of telling stories. Leave the cookie cutter behind and start creating your own beautiful works of pitching art following these tactics above.