Pitching to Journalists: Tried and tested methods to get you noticed

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  • July 13, 2015
Emily Green

Emily Green

Digital PR Strategist

Today’s the day – the day your big campaign goes live. You’re full of excitement and raring to go with your seeding list at the ready. You spend the day sending emails to journalists, feeling satisfied that in the morning, your inbox will be bursting at the seams with replies.

Unfortunately, come morning, you find yourself suffering from an unwanted case of Inbox Zero. You search Google, Brandwatch and Google Alerts when reality hits that no one has covered the campaign! This can be a common problem for some PRs, with over 300 emails landing in journalist’s inbox every day, it can be tricky to get your campaign noticed.

To avoid this horror, our Digital PR team are always thinking of the best ways to get our clients in front of journalists. Here, I’ll share with you our best tried and tested approaches to PR pitching.

Relationship building

Get to know the journalists you contact regularly. Read their articles to understand the topics they tend to cover. Follow them on Twitter take an active interest in the content they share and generally engage with them. You’ll soon notice that they’ll begin to approach you for stories, exclusives and comments.

Sell your story

Journalists have to sell their story to their readers, so why shouldn’t we sell our stories to them? Take the opportunity to be creative with your approach, and show your passion for your client’s campaign. You should also make sure it’s packed full of useful information that can be used straight away, as this could be the difference between getting coverage or not.

Make use of the email title

With hundreds of emails filling a journalist’s inbox on a daily basis, you absolutely have to make full use of the email title. It should be no surprise that many journalists have said that is the first thing they read, it heavily influences their decision on whether to even open the email or send it to their Junk folder.

Do your research

Look for journalists who have covered similar topics to the story that you’re planning to pitch. Gorkana is a great tool to use to research journalists, as many will have a profile which includes topics they write about and the publications they have written for. There’s no better way to get noticed than sending them a story that will be relevant to their publication and their readers.

Avoid unsolicited phone calls

If you’re lucky enough to get through to the journalist you’re looking for, you’ll likely be asked to put the information into an email. Journalists tend to be very busy, so receiving multiple unexpected calls can be very disruptive to their working day. Many will make a note in Gorkana that they only like to be contacted via email and we feel it’s important to respect this.

These are just a few of the top level methods we have tried and tested with great success across a vast range of publications. We enjoy the chance to be as creative as possible with our pitches, from engaging email titles to sending personalised packages; ultimately, we want to be remembered, and ensure that our clients reap the benefits of our great reputation.

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