Are you trying to secure media coverage for your company? As you begin the process of sending pitches to journalists, make sure you keep these 5 tips in mind.
Reporter Recommendations: 5 Tips for Working with Journalists
1. Be respectful. This tip may be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore it. Include “please” and “thank you” in all your pitches and follow up emails. If a reporter tells you they’re not interested and asks to be removed from your list, actually take them off your list. If a blogger says your pitch isn’t a good fit right now, don’t try to go over their head. Remember, you’re asking them for a favor, so don’t be demanding.
2. Do your homework. Take the time to research the media outlet before contacting them. Read through past articles and check out the “About” page on their website. Look at the bylines so you know which reporter is the best person to contact. When you do send your pitches, make sure you spell each reporter’s name and outlet that they work for correctly. Spending a little bit of extra time researching and double checking details now could mean the difference between a deleted pitch and an article about your business.
3. Don’t be a pest. Yes, journalists are busy and you need to follow up with them, but don’t expect them to reply to every email within five minutes either. They key here is to be pleasantly persistent. If you haven’t heard back from the reporter you sent samples to, check in with them, but then give them at least several days to reply before following up again.
4. Follow directions. If a reporter tells you they want high-resolution images or samples of a specific product, follow their directions. Ask when their deadline is and then get them what they need before you miss the opportunity.
5. Default to email, not phone. Although there are rare instances where the phone is appropriate, make your default correspondence via email. First of all, it’s less intrusive so you have a lower chance of interrupting a reporter when they’re on deadline (which means working on a story that’s due right away), and second, most journalists say that’s how they prefer to receive pitches. If you think about it, email is better for you, too. You can include a link to your website and make sure they have all the details in a form they can look back and refer to.
Have you had any success sending pitches to journalists? Tell us about what worked for you in the comments below!
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