4 Things Every Good PR Pitch Needs
written by Vicky Lynch
Does it surprise you to hear that every publicist has a slightly different way to pitch their clients for maximum success? Or that every media contact has their own preferences on how they like to receive PR pitches?
These nuances are really a big part of the reason you want to hire a publicist. You may know what you want to say, but your publicist will know what the media wants to hear. And they’ve spent years building relationships with media contacts and to understand what each individual outlet is looking for.
But let’s just look at the basics for a moment, because maybe you don’t have the budget right now to hire a publicist. Can you pitch yourself? Everyone has their own way of pitching, but no matter what that is, a lot of the elements are still the same. Here’s what you need to include in your pitches if you’re pitching yourself.
Here are 4 elements that every good PR pitch needs:
- Personalization. There are PR firms that send out blanket pitches. And while they might include the media’s contact or outlet name, it’s going to be pretty clear to the person receiving the pitch that zero thought was put into why their outlet specifically is a good fit for that particular pitch.
With PR, the saying holds true, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” At first glance, you might be impressed by the number of pitches that go out. But when those pitches don’t result in coverage, it quickly becomes a problem.
This is why each and every pitch should be personalized. Yes, this can be hard.
Yes, this can be time-consuming. But taking the time to listen to a podcast, visit an outlet’s website or check out a reporter’s Twitter’s profile is going to be well worth the time when it results in coverage.
Make sure to include a link in the first sentence or two of your pitch that is personal. Comment on a recent article the reporter wrote, or explain why you’d be a phenomenal guest on their podcast.
- Your Name and Bio (And Anything Specific You Are Promoting). This seems obvious. And I hope it is. But you need to get to WHO you are pitching and WHY very quickly in your pitch. This information should also be included in your first paragraph. Can you hyperlink to a biography page on your website? Can you provide a link to your book on Amazon? Even better.
Along with a name, you’ll want to provide the top things you are known for and other information that further establishes you as successful and a thought leader in your space. This could be mentioning details like: “ I run a 7-figure business,” “I’ve helped thousands of women globally,” or “I’ve assisted clients with 6-figure launches.”
- Previous Media Hits. The best way to get into those outlets that are at the top of your wishlist? Get hits with smaller outlets first. PR compounds on itself. Chances are if you are trying to get into a top outlet like Forbes or USA Today, they are going to want to see your coverage in previous outlets in order for them to have the confidence to feature you in their outlet.
Furthermore, when it comes to live interviews, you can link to a previous interview or even better, a Press page on your website where you house multiple interviews. This will give the outlet a good feel for your interview style to further help them determine if you will be a good fit for their show.
Provide links whenever possible, but don’t link everything, just your favorites, since too many hyperlinks in a pitch could land you in a spam folder.
- Unique and specific angles. No matter how impressive you appear on paper, if the angle isn’t right for the outlet you’re pitching, you’re not going to land coverage. Period.
This is why it makes sense to really get to what is unique about the client or product you are offering for coverage. You’ll need to research what outlets are covering and you’ll have to dig deep into your client’s expertise, so that you can provide something different.
A couple closing tips. It never hurts in a pitch to bold the strongest or most unique aspects of the pitch or to bullet unique angles. Many of your contacts likely receive hundreds of pitches a day. By calling out the most important parts of that pitch, you’re making it more likely that they’ll notice those as they skim through their inbox.
Remember, no one cares that you are trying to get media coverage. That’s not a reason for them to cover whatever it is you’ve sent a PR pitch for. They care how you will add value to their audience. No matter how you pitch, the goal is to provide value to the media by offering your expertise. Always keep that in mind while you pitch.
Need help writing pitches? We have a course that teaches you exactly how we approach pitching for our clients, including sample pitches. Simply choose our courses on landing podcast interviews, newspaper/magazine/website interviews, TV interviews, or speaking engagements and you’ll get our pitching course for free!