The Art & Science of the PR Pitch

Email is central is a successful business presence today - be it digital or otherwise. Hardly anything would get done without it but many senders just aren't using the channel effectively - particularly those looking for publicity for and coverage of their businesses. 

There's an art (and a science) to making a "pitch" to a journalist/writer/blogger and as content marketing (e.g. guest posting and the like) continues to rise in popularity and usage, it will benefit business (and those they employ) to know how best to do that. Let's take a look at some sample pitches and explore why they work in order to ensure you receive the coverage your brand deserves. 

The Simple, Short & Straightforward Pitch

Hello [NAME],
I was wondering if you're the correct person to send pitches or angles for considerations for the articles you contribute to [INSERT PUBLICATION NAME]. I represent [INSERT YOUR COMPANY NAME] and I have a two topics you may be interested in covering

Would you be open to a few bullet points on what they do? 

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you. 


Why it Works: This approach works for just the reason you might expect - it gets right to the point; you want something but you're speeding up the process by letting them know you're able to provide highlights without overwhelming them with additional information at the outset. It's very much like taking the temperature of the writer to see if they're interested and ultimately helps you start a conversation (when none currently exists). What this email does well is prompt a response and as someone responsible for generating coverage, it (always) starts there. 

Shared Connection or Reconnecting

Hello [NAME],

Just wanted to send you a reminder about [INSERT TOPIC (e.g. news items, product release)] that we discussed recently at [INSERT TIME/PLACE].

I wanted to send over a first look/personal update as you were interested in possibly writing up something. If you're still interested and if your schedule allows, here's our official announcement [INSERT LINK].

I am available to discuss in detail at your convenience. Looking forward to speaking again with you soon!


Why it Works: The best way to ensure coverage is to have a relationship with the writer. If you have that, you need to exploit it. If you've connected at an industry event, over social media or even through previous emails, make sure to circle back. What this email does well is reminding the writer of a previous conversation and their interest. Start off an email of this nature but remind them of the existing relationship or a shared connection and quickly provide a link to more information. Another useful feature of this is offering up help - be it in the form of a discussion or sharing more data. 

Cold But Timely & Newsworthy

Hello [NAME],
Based on your recent coverage of [INSERT LINK TO PREVIOUS COVERAGE], I thought you might be interested in additional news related to this trend. In light of the [MENTION A NOTEWORTHY EVENT] this may be particularly appealing to your readers. 

We'll be sending out this news on [INSERT DATE - BE SPECIFIC AND INDICATE IF THERE IS AN EMBARGO], but here's a link to an exclusive pre-release copy: [INSERT LINK]

If you are interested and if your schedule allows, I'm available to discuss further.

Why it Works:  No one likes to be behind the curve, and writers are no different. Being timely and newsworthy dramatically increases the likelihood of coverage as it provides an opportunity to capitalize on what is sure to be a higher level of audience interest. Stand out in what is likely going to be crowded inbox by making an approach that includes a unique angle or viewpoint on the news or the broader trend. What this email also does well is give the writer a head start with the advanced copy. 

Make the Pitch

These are just a few specific approaches content marketers and public relations professionals can take to improve the chances they receive coverage for their brands. They are certainly not the only way to capture the attention of writers but they serve as a good foundation for those looking to generate awareness of their brands and get the word out about an enterprises new products or services.