Pitching 101: It All Starts with Your Subject Line
Have you ever had a special event come up and had difficulty getting in touch with the press? Do you sometimes send pitch after pitch after pitch and end up receiving one or sometimes no response from journalists? Basic public relations can help businesses of any size, but you must be able to reach the press effectively in order to succeed.
Because journalists don’t have time to read every single email, you have to hook them as soon as possible, and the fastest way to do that is in the email subject line. Here’s what you should keep in mind when trying to pique a busy journalist’s interest:
Do Your Research
Employers love when interviewees do a little research about the company or the job prior to interviewing for the position. The same goes for journalists. If you reference something they have already written, you’re showing them that you’ve read their work, and you’re giving them hope that what you’re about to pitch is relevant to them. These are two subject lines that show you’ve done your research:
“Follow up to Your Story on”
“Your Recent Story on”
Be a Journalist for a Second
Pretend you’re on a tight deadline, and you’ve gotten 100 emails in the last hour. You only have 10 minutes to check them. Which ones would you open based on their subject lines? This is what journalists go through on most days. Make it impossible for them to skip your email.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Newspaper and magazine headlines are normally concise and capture the story in a few words. Use them for inspiration! You don’t want to give too many details – that’s what the story is for. Use the subject line to entice the reader. Here’s an example of a good, concise subject line, and an example of one that’s long and not so good:
Good: “XYZ Hotel to Hire 75 in December”
Not so good: “XYZ Hotel Is Going to Hire More People Just in Time for the Holidays”
If you keep these tips in mind when pitching your stories to the media, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your open rates and having your stories published.
Image Credit: damaporai