So you've got a great story to share or an amazing new product to promote and you want to get the word out. You know that pitching the media is one of the best ways to build buzz, but with journalists receiving hundreds of pitches a day, how can you make sure yours stands out?
In this article, we'll walk through the essential elements of a pitch that sells, from identifying the right journalists and outlets to target to creating a compelling subject line and pitch email that highlights why your story is newsworthy. Get ready to become a pitch master and watch the media coverage roll in.
What is a Media Pitch?
A media pitch is a short message you send to journalists, editors, and bloggers to try and get their interest in covering your story or reviewing your product.
With so many emails flooding journalists' inboxes daily, you've got to make your pitch stand out. A strong pitch that grabs their attention is key. According to a recent survey, over 42% of writers get between 11 to 100 pitches a day, and almost 5% receive a whopping 100+ email pitches daily.
Below, we cover these main points that will help you write a good pitch:
- Do Your Research on the Publication
- Craft an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
- Start With a Strong Opening Paragraph
- Explain Why Your Story Is Timely and Relevant
- Provide Details and Stats to Back Up Your Pitch
- Speak to the Publication's Audience
- Close With a Clear Call-to-Action
- Follow Up and Don't Give Up
1. Do Your Research on the Publication
To get the attention of media outlets, you need to show them why your story matters to their audience. Do some digging to find out what kinds of topics and angles they typically cover.
Check out the publication’s website and social media to get a feel for their content and tone. See what kinds of stories they’ve covered recently. Then tailor your pitch to match their style. For example, if it’s a trade publication, focus on industry trends and insider insights. If it’s a lifestyle magazine, highlight entertaining or inspiring aspects.
Find the Right Journalists and Editors
Research the specific journalists and editors who cover your topic. Address them by name in your email to make a personal connection. Mention some of their previous articles to show you’re familiar with their work.
This extra effort demonstrates your professionalism and enthusiasm. It also helps ensure your pitch ends up in the right hands. The more targeted your pitch is, the more likely it will resonate with them.
Pitch Multiple Publications
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Identify several publications that might be interested in your story. Pitch them concurrently to increase your odds of success. If one passes, you have backups. And if multiple express interest, you can choose the one that’s the best fit.
2. Craft an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing the media contact will see about your pitch. Make it compelling enough that they'll want to open your email and keep reading.
Here are some tips for crafting an attention-grabbing subject line:
Keep it short and sweet
Aim for 6 to 8 words max. Anything longer may get cut off in the recipient's inbox.
- "New App Revolutionizes the Way We Learn Languages"
Create a sense of urgency or excitement
Use words like "exclusive," "just launched," "breaking news," or "world's first."
- "Exclusive: How This Startup Raised $10M in 30 Days"
Focus on relevance and benefits
Highlight how your story relates to the publication's audience or industry. Mention the key benefits or takeaways.
- "The Marketing Strategy That Increased Sales 34% in 3 Months"
Ask a provocative question
Pose an interesting question that taps into the reader's curiosity.
- "What If There Was a Pill to Instantly Learn a New Language?"
Use numbers and statistics
Numbers attract attention and lend credibility. Mention impressive figures or results.
- "How We Reduced Costs 23% Using This Simple Method"
Include the source or company name
Name recognition can pique interest, especially if you're pitching a well-known brand or public figure.
- "Exclusive Interview: How the CEO of ABC Company Achieved Success Against All Odds"
With some thought and creativity, you can craft a subject line that gives the media contact a compelling reason to open and read your pitch. Take the time to make it exciting and benefit-focused, and you'll increase your odds of a response.
3. Start With a Strong Opening Paragraph
The opening paragraph of your media pitch is your first impression—you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of busy editors and journalists. Lead with your most compelling angle or news hook to draw them in right away. Keep this first paragraph short, around 2 to 3 sentences.
For example, you might start with a startling statistic, an interesting question, or a story that illustrates the key issue. Mention the topic or focus of your pitch and why it's particularly timely or relevant for that media outlet's audience. If it's a pitch for an article or guest post, briefly introduce the main takeaway or lesson you want to convey.
- Start with the most compelling, attention-grabbing element.
- Mention the news hook or timely angle. Why now?
- Briefly introduce the key topic or main takeaway.
Your opening paragraph sets the right tone and first impression. If the editor or journalist isn't engaged after reading that initial paragraph, the odds of your pitch being considered plummet. So put in the effort to craft a hook that makes them want to keep reading and learn more.
With a strong start, the editor or journalist will be eager to read on to the details and further points in your media pitch. They'll want to see the sources you have, the statistics or stories you mentioned, and the unique perspectives or advice you aim to provide to their audience. So make that first impression count, and start with an opening paragraph that gets noticed.
4. Explain Why Your Story Is Timely and Relevant
To get the media interested in your story, you need to explain why it’s timely and relevant to their audience. Share how your news relates to current events, trends, or topics their readers care about. For example:
Are certain hashtags trending on social media related to your industry or area of expertise? Mention how your story taps into what’s trending now and provide examples of the hashtags to show you understand their audience’s interests.
Does your story relate to an upcoming holiday, event, or season? Pitch it as a great piece for their editorial calendar and content planning. For instance, pitch a small business profile story in December as a piece on unique gift ideas or shopping local for the holidays.
Anniversaries or milestones
Are you celebrating an important anniversary, milestone or record achievement? Help the media see the news value in profiling your story as a way to reflect on how far you’ve come and inspire their readers. For example, pitch your business’s 10th anniversary as a piece on lessons learned and keys to longevity as a small business.
Trends in your industry
Explain how your story illustrates or provides insight into emerging trends in your industry. Discuss trends in technology, business models, consumer behaviors or other areas of evolution. The media is always looking to keep their readers in the know on what’s new and next.
Emphasize how your story affects or matters to the local community. Discuss issues like job creation, community involvement, environmental impact or economic contribution. Local media especially want stories that highlight good news and progress in the communities they serve.
The key is tying your story to topics that resonate and provide value for that media outlet’s specific audience. With a relevant, well-researched pitch, you’ll land coverage that gets noticed.
5. Provide Details and Stats to Back Up Your Pitch
To convince the media your pitch is newsworthy, provide concrete details and statistics to back up your key points. Give the editor or journalist enough specific information to show why your story matters to their audience.
Share Relevant Numbers
Include statistics, figures, and data that strengthen your pitch. For example, if you're pitching a story on the rise in demand for plant-based meat alternatives, note that "sales of plant-based meat hit a record 46% sales growth in 2020 over 2019 according to Plants Based Foods Association data." Give the most recent stats and cite credible sources.
Put a Human Face on the Story
Help bring the story to life by including anecdotes from real people affected by the issue. You might say something like: "As more people adopt vegan and vegetarian diets, companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are working to meet demand. ‘I've been vegan for 15 years and it's amazing to finally be able to order a burger when out with friends,’ says Maya Thompson, a 38-year-old based in Portland, Oregon." Personal stories resonate with readers and add a compelling human element.
Discuss Local Impact
For regional media outlets, show how the story directly affects their local readership. For example, mention that "California-based company ABC opened the world's first commercial plant-based meat production facility in Singapore and has plans to expand operations to the US, including sites in California and Nevada.” Highlight any local job opportunities or community involvement as well.
Explain Broader Significance
While focusing on concrete details, also articulate why the story matters on a bigger scale. For instance, you might say “The rise of meat alternatives has major environmental implications, as plant-based meat production requires up to 90% less land and water than traditional meat.” Discuss how it connects to trends in health, business, policy or technology. Help the editor understand the broader relevance and timeliness of your pitch.
Using compelling facts, anecdotes, and examples of local and global significance will give your media pitch the persuasive power to get noticed and picked up. Provide enough context around the details and stats to craft a complete, well-rounded story. With the right mix of specifics to bring the pitch to life along with big-picture importance, you'll convince any editor that your story idea is newsworthy.
6. Speak to the Publication's Audience
To craft a pitch that resonates with the publication’s readers, put yourself in their shoes. Consider what information they want and the tone or angle that would interest them.
Know the readership
Do some research on the publication and its audience. What do they care about? What’s their demographic? The more you understand the readers, the better you can tailor your pitch.
For example, if pitching a tech story to Wired, emphasize how innovative or cutting-edge the topic is. For a parenting magazine, focus on how helpful or practical the information would be for families. Mentioning the likely appeal and benefits to readers shows editors you understand what their audience cares about.
- Identify the publication’s content focus and the kinds of stories they publish. See what angles or topics get the most attention or shares.
- Check the comments on articles to see what readers respond to. Look for recurring themes or suggestions.
- See if the publication has a media kit that describes their target audience. Check traffic statistics to determine the major reader groups.
- Follow the publication and editors on social media. Pay attention to the types of stories and news they share or comment on.
Match the tone
Study the publication’s style and voice. Is it formal or casual? Academic or mainstream? Mimic that tone in your pitch to ensure a good fit. If the publication has a light, humorous style, pitching a dense, data-heavy topic probably won’t resonate. And an informal, laid-back magazine probably isn’t the place for an overly serious subject matter.
Match the overall tone and level of formality the readers expect. Speaking to the audience in a familiar, natural voice will make your pitch that much more compelling. With the right message tailored for the right readers, your media pitch is sure to get noticed.
7. Close With a Clear Call-to-Action
You've crafted a compelling pitch and built up enthusiasm for your story. Now it's time to wrap things up and ask the journalist for what you want—their interest and coverage. Explain exactly what you're offering for them, whether it's an interview, data, images, or video. Make it as easy as possible for them to say "yes!".
For example, you might say something like:
"I'd be happy to provide hi-res photos, b-roll footage, or schedule an in-person interview with our CEO to discuss this announcement further. Just let me know if you'd like to take advantage of any of these opportunities or need anything else to cover this story."
Be specific and concise in your ask. Don't just say you're available for follow up—define what that follow up could look like. The more visuals and assets you can offer, the better. Many journalists today have to shoot their own photos and videos to accompany stories, so providing multimedia content makes their job easier and your pitch more appealing.
You want the journalist to walk away with a clear understanding of exactly what you're pitching and offering them. If after reading your email they aren't sure what the next steps could be or how to pursue the story further, then your call-to-action wasn't clear enough. Your CTA should make them excited about the possibilities and motivated to get started on coverage right away.
End your pitch on a high note and with a firm, confident ask. Thank the journalist for their time and consideration. Let them know you look forward to speaking with them about this opportunity and answering any other questions they may have. A strong, compelling call-to-action can be the difference between getting noticed and getting ignored. So take the time to craft it well.
8. Follow Up and Don't Give Up
Once you’ve sent your media pitch, the work isn’t done. Follow up is critical to getting a response and increasing your chances of coverage. Here are some effective follow up tactics:
Send a friendly email reminder
About a week after sending your initial pitch, send a short, polite follow up email. Reiterate your key message and highlight why the story would interest their readers. Mention you’re still available as a source. Keep the tone light and casual.
Offer an exclusive
If your pitch is compelling enough, offer to give the media outlet an exclusive interview or advanced access to new data or research findings. The promise of an exclusive scoop may persuade an editor or producer to cover your story. But only offer an exclusive if you're fully prepared to deliver unique and interesting content.
Suggest different angles
The journalist may have passed on your initial pitch because it didn’t quite fit what they needed. In your follow up, suggest some alternative angles or ways of framing the story that may be a better match. Be willing to pivot and rework your pitch to align with the media outlet and their audience’s interests.
Stay persistent but professional
Don’t give up after a few unanswered follow ups. Media contacts receive hundreds of pitches a day, so even a great story idea can slip through the cracks. But don’t stalk the journalist or send daily reminders. Space out your follow ups and continue re-pitching your story in a polite, professional manner through calls, emails and possibly social media. Persistence and patience can pay off!
The key is to stay on the media’s radar in a helpful, unobtrusive way. With consistent, value-added follow up, you can turn a pitch that was initially overlooked into an opportunity.
Good Media Pitch Examples
Let's look at some examples of good media pitches that will get you noticed.
Subject Line: "Hypotenuse AI and Proofed Join Forces, Revolutionizing the Content Creation Process"
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I hope this message finds you well. I'm reaching out to share some exciting news—an innovative partnership that's set to redefine content creation and editing. Hypotenuse AI, an industry-leading AI content generation platform, is joining hands with Proofed, a top-tier human editing agency.
In a world where content is king, the timing couldn't be better. As we navigate the new normal, businesses are more reliant than ever on digital content. This partnership is designed to help meet the growing demand for efficient, high-quality content creation and editing services. More on how this works here: [link]
According to a recent survey, 82% of businesses are planning to increase their content marketing budget in the next year. This partnership will enable businesses to keep up with this trend, providing them with a scalable solution that marries the best of AI technology and human expertise.
Your readers, many of whom are entrepreneurs and business leaders, will find this partnership particularly intriguing. It offers them an opportunity to streamline their content creation process, saving both time and resources, while ensuring the quality of their content is not compromised.
To learn more about how Hypotenuse AI and Proofed are revolutionizing content creation, we'd be delighted to arrange an interview with our CEO or provide more information as needed.
Follow-up Example 1
Subject Line: "An Exclusive Invitation: Hypotenuse AI x Proofed Collaboration"
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I wanted to circle back regarding our exciting partnership announcement between Hypotenuse AI and Proofed. In our previous communication, we outlined how this partnership combines the efficiency of AI with the precision of human expertise, creating a potent blend that caters to the increasing demand for high-quality digital content.
To make this story even more compelling for your readers, we are thrilled to offer an exclusive opportunity. This could include an in-depth interview with our CEO discussing the dynamics of this partnership, or early access to case studies showcasing the impact of our combined services. We aim to provide your readers with unique, valuable insights that they can't find elsewhere.
I'm still at your disposal to delve into any of the aspects of this partnership and provide any further information you might need.
Looking forward to your thoughts and the opportunity to collaborate on this exciting story!
Subject Line: "Hypotenuse AI’s Newest Game-Changer: The Ultimate Media Pitch Writer"
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I trust this email finds you in good spirits. Today, I'm thrilled to introduce you to Hypotenuse AI’s latest innovation, a revolutionary tool designed to help professionals craft compelling media pitches with ease and efficiency: The Media Pitch Writer.
In the fast-paced world of public relations and media outreach, we understand the importance of a well-crafted pitch. It's not always about having a great story to tell, it's also about telling it in a way that grabs attention and compels action. That's where our new product comes into play.
The Media Pitch Writer leverages our advanced AI technology to guide users through the process of creating effective media pitches. It offers personalized suggestions, ensuring each pitch is not just persuasive, but also tailor-made to resonate with its intended audience. More on how this works here: [link]
This tool is not just timely, but also a response to a long-standing need within the communications industry. According to a recent study, 72% of PR professionals struggle with crafting media pitches that stand out in the ever-crowded email inboxes of journalists. Our product aims to alleviate this pain point, making media pitch creation a less daunting task.
To further explore the functionalities and benefits of the Media Pitch Writer, we would be delighted to arrange a product demo or provide additional material as needed.
Looking forward to your positive response!
Follow-up Example 2
Subject Line: "A Gentle Reminder & Exclusive Opportunity - Hypotenuse AI’s Media Pitch Writing Assistant"
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I hope this email finds you well! I'm circling back to our previous conversation about Hypotenuse AI's game-changing product: The Media Pitch Writer. This innovative tool is not just another addition to the PR tech scene, but a true revolution in how we craft and deliver compelling media pitches.
For a story that truly stands out, we're excited to offer you an exclusive opportunity. This could include an in-depth interview with our product development team or advanced access to new data showcasing the effectiveness of our tool.
We're also open to exploring alternative angles or ways of presenting this tool. Perhaps your readers would be interested in the technological advancements that make this possible, or maybe a focus on how the tool can shape the future of PR and media relations would resonate more.
I'm still available to discuss this further and would be delighted to provide any additional information you might need.
Looking forward to your response and the opportunity to make this exclusive story a reality!
Tips & Tricks on Writing a Good Media Pitch
When pitching the media, a few tips and tricks can help your pitch get noticed.
Keep it short and sweet.
Of the writers that read email pitches, most prefer to receive a pitch between 100 to 200 words. Keep your pitch concise while highlighting the key details. Share the essential who, what, where, when, why and how in 3 short paragraphs. Flesh out additional details only when they request more information.
Pitch on the right day.
As for the day of the week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are a writer’s favorite days to receive pitches. They’re starting their week refreshed and planning content. Pitch early in the week to increase your chances of getting a response.
Build a relationship.
Don’t just pitch and run. Follow up and engage with the writers and editors you pitch. Comment on their articles, share their content, and start building a rapport. When you do pitch them, mention your previous interactions to show you’re a dedicated reader. They’ll recognize your name and may give your pitch extra consideration.
Make it Easy.
Include links to images, videos, customer stories, or other resources the journalist can easily access to learn more. The easier you make a reporter’s job, the more likely they are to cover your story. Offer to connect them directly with executives or customers as sources.
Following these useful tips will improve your chances of getting media interest and coverage. With practice, you’ll be pitching like a pro in no time!
Commonly Asked Questions for Media Pitches
When pitching media, you probably have some questions about the best way to do it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you craft a pitch that gets results.
Should I call or email?
For your initial pitch, email is usually best. It allows the journalist to review your idea on their own timetable. Only follow up with a phone call if you have an existing relationship or have not received a response after 1-2 weeks. When calling, be prepared for them to ask for an emailed pitch summary.
What information should I include?
In your pitch email, include a headline summarizing your story idea in 1 sentence. Then give a brief 2-3 paragraph overview explaining the key details and newsworthiness. Include links to any research or visuals that would support the story. And provide relevant background on any companies, organizations or people featured. Be sure to include your full contact information so they can easily follow up with questions.
How often should I pitch the same media contact?
For most media contacts, limit yourself to pitching 1 new story idea per month maximum. Any more frequently risks irritating them or being labeled as a “serial pitcher.” Of course, if a truly newsworthy story breaks in between, you can pitch that—but do so cautiously and only if it’s highly relevant for their audience. With time, as you build a relationship, the frequency may increase. But quality over quantity is key.
The key to crafting a pitch that gets noticed is going above and beyond. You need to show the journalist that you get what they're looking for and that you're offering an exclusive, fresh angle they can't get anywhere else. So do your research, build rapport, share your unique insights and make it personal. Pitch with passion and purpose.
Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. If you put in the work to craft a pitch that's tailored, compelling and clicks with the journalist, you'll get a reply. And when that reply comes in, you'll know all that effort was worth it. So get pitching and good luck! Your big media break could be just one email away.
P.S. Not sure where to start? Write your first media pitch with AI.