How to Pitch Like a Pro: Blunt Advice on Pitching Publications
Want to get your product raved about by editors and bloggers? Got BIG company news to share? Or maybe you just want to write a story and see your name in print. Whatever the motivation, you need to get yourself in front of editors (and not annoy them into blacklisting you).
It doesn’t matter if the publication in question is a print magazine, your local newspaper, or your favorite blog, assume everyone is busy juggling a multitude of tasks and deadlines. The LAST thing an editor wants is having their time wasted (it makes us just a wee bit stabby).
How to Pitch Like a PR Pro (Uncensored Advice)
#1: Don’t Waste Their Time – Do your homework before you pitch ANYTHING! Is it a fit for the publication? Was something similar featured a month ago? This means you actually have to read the publication (yes, we can tell if you haven’t). Google is your friend – use it to research previous coverage of the story idea you are pitching.
#2: Think Like an Editor – The key to effectively pitch publications is to think like an editor. Your (unofficial) job is to make their job easier by helping them boost their numbers and share amazing stories. Ask yourself: Is it newsworthy? Will it increase readership? Is it a content fit for the publication?
#3: Keep It Brief – Get right to it – who you are, why you are pitching them and what you are pitching. The objective is first to get them to even read your pitch which won’t happen if it’s long and rambling (and lacking a snazzy title that grabs their attention).
#4: Get Organized – Show the editor that if he or she takes a chance on you (either as a writer or a source) that you won’t let them down. The best way to do this is to prepare a very organized pitch and respond promptly even if it takes them an eon to respond to you.
#5: Get Samples in the Mail PRONTO – Don’t ask editors or journalists to write about something before they get their hands on it, let their kids play with it and try to break it or even seeing samples of your other stories (in the case of writers pitching editors).
#6: Include Helpful Information – Further to the previous rule, don’t send samples out without a note from you and your contact information. Chances are that your initial correspondence has been filed (and misplaced) and the editor (yes, even days later) has forgotten what story angle grabbed their attention. Remind them!
#7: Follow-up Upfront – When in doubt, ask upfront how the editor would like you to follow-up with them. Every editor is different with respect to follow-up – some hate it and will blacklist you for hounding them; others rely on it counting on you to stay in touch.
(And yes, please keep this advice in mind when pitching MOMeo Magazine!)