The Art of the Quick Pitch

& Other Nuggets of Media Relations Wisdom

By: Amy Verbout

I’m a firm believer in the less is more approach when crafting a media pitch. Think quick pitch, quick reply. However, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the end goal and wind up typing three long paragraphs and a bulleted list of hyperlinks when you’re excited about your client. To save yourself and your media contacts time, follow these 4 tips to simplify your ask and ultimately net the response you want.

Do your research and make it personal.

What was the reporter’s latest IG post or tweet? Is it relevant to your pitch? If not, get crafty and make it relevant! Reporters want to see effort, so start with a personalized message. While skimming their archives and familiarizing yourself with their work, did anything catch your eye? Let them know!

No more circling back and touching base.

Treat media relationships like you would any relationship. The first step to building a great one is finding a common bond and being as genuine as possible. Ditch the stuffy office speak and take a straightforward approach to keep the email short, concise and show you value the reporter’s time.

Give them gold.

If your pitch sounds less like a tip and more like the spiel of a used car salesperson before closing time, you’re doing it wrong. Highlight the newsworthiness of your angle and why you think the particular topic will be of interest to their readership. Provide relevant stats and any quantitative data you have on hand to beef up your pitch.

If you want an answer, ask a question (duh).

The best way to guarantee a response is to end your pitch with a question. Try asking questions like:

- Does this interest you?

- What do you think? Would love to know your thoughts, good and bad!

- Would love to chat through ideas — when are you free this week?

Remember: once you have a relationship with the reporter, you’re in. The pitch becomes a quick text, a DM or a casual convo at happy hour. Keep it simple and always keep the following takeaways in mind:

  1. “No, thanks” is a learning lesson and can be just as valuable as a “yes.”
  2. Any pitch can be pared down to one simple question: “Do you want to move forward with this idea?”

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