Even as a public relations student, I don’t think I fully understood what pitching truly entailed until I started my internship. It was always on job descriptions, professors would mention it in class, and I had heard of the elusive ‘perfect PR pitch’, but even so, it seemed like a foreign concept. Now, pitching is one of my daily tasks after I jumped into the deep end of learning how to do it. That being said, I’m still perfecting my pitch-crafting skills, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Do your research—Sending a specific pitch to a writer that doesn’t cover that beat is a waste of your and their time. Make sure the journalist has recently covered topics similar to what you’re pitching!
Be proactive—Journalists always have a deadline and the current news rotation changes fast, so being timely and ahead of the curve is essential. One way to be proactive is by looking at a reporter’s beat, and if there’s a story that fits that they haven’t covered yet, send a pitch their way.
Make it short and simple—It’s safe to say that no one enjoys (or entirely reads) long emails, so make it easy to follow by getting to the point quickly and politely.
Not getting a response is normal— Journalists can get hundreds of pitches emailed to them daily, so it’s normal to not hear back. However, this is why it’s all the more important to make sure your pitch is timely and appropriate to their beat.
…But actually getting a response is the best feeling in the world—If all the forces in the universe align, and a journalist reads and responds to your pitch, consider yourself lucky! Allow yourself a moment of celebration, then respond to them quickly, concisely, and appreciatively because they are definitely on deadline.