Read how to nail your PR pitch told by the PRSSA Blog Team.
By: Bianca Esposito
Being assigned a pitch as a new, young PR professional can be exciting. You have the opportunity and the creative license to bring a client, product, or idea into the spotlight based upon how you decide to pitch it. It’s all very rewarding … up until you run into rejection. Sometimes you may have put in the effort and research, yet you still may be missing a few marks when writing your pitch that you didn’t even realize can make you susceptible to enter the trash bin.
Here are some ways to avoid the dreaded pitch rejection:
Step 1: Make Your Subject Stand Out.
When sending out a pitch to a massive media contact list you probably crafted for hours on Cision, you want to make sure you are capturing each and every one of these contacts’ attention. For example, if you are pitching a (rather boring) product such as the launch of a new Cuisinart pot set, don’t make the subject, “Cuisinart Pot Set”. Why? Because that’s boring and does not captures anyone’s attention unless they are specifically interested in a pot set. Make the contacts interested in something they didn’t even know they were interested in by putting an outlandish subject title that may be a play on words or just plain witty pertaining to pots. Be creative and don’t be afraid to step out of the serious corporate world. Those subject titles ARE the ones that get opened, the rest most likely get rejected.
Step 2: Know Who You Are Pitching To.
CUSTOMIZE your email headers to each and every sender’s name and spell their names right. If you can’t take the time to spell a simple name correctly or even get their name right, than your pitch is probably already uninteresting to the person who opened it. Writing “Dear Ms. Smith” instead of “Dear Mr. Lopez” is often an immediate transfer over to the trash bin. We live in a technological era where there is really no excuse to not know how to spell a name, so use your resources! Cision is a fantastic media contact database most PR agencies use, which grants you easy access to thousands of contacts with their FULL NAMES listed. If you can’t find a contact on Cision, use Google. I’m telling you, it works and it pays to not be lazy.
Step 3: Make your First Sentence the Best Thing You’ve Ever Written.
Think about it, if I sent you a letter and the first sentence was painfully wordy, boring, and overly formal, would you continue to read it with an open mind or are you already doing the internal eye-roll waiting to be done reading the letter? …That’s what I thought. In other words, CAPTURE ME! You have the chance to capture your reader by starting your pitch off with a compelling, witty, and interesting first line that will set the tone for your entire pitch. No one wants to read something boring, and media contacts are constantly swamped with pitches. Make yours be the one to stand out and brighten their inbox.
Following these three steps will surely help to put you on a path to decrease the amount of pitch rejections and improve your pitch writing. Now go off and impress your intern supervisors by keeping these three little key steps in your back pocket when typing your next pitch!