Dos And Don’ts Guideline When Pitching to Media

SparkAmpLab Editorial Team
December 3, 2018

You have a lean but powerful team, a market validated product, bright future full with potential — only if you get more attention through thousands of email pitches.

Why does getting attention seems so tough?

“Media influencers averagely received 38,000+ emails from countless brands per day.” — Fractl research

Instead of being flooded by other thirty thousand emails, in this post we’re going to help you out and highlight your media pitch:

【Related Articles】
The Ultimate Guide to Media Outreach (Bonus: 10 Important Outreach Hacks)
How to Write a Press Release that Earns You Press Coverage in 2021 (w/ Real Examples)

Key Factors in Media Pitch

Since you have limited time on influencer outreach, here we quickly present you each insights we’ve found in 3 main factors after sending more than five thousand email pitchs:

1. Email List Quality — How email lists effects open rate?

Through our past media pitch experiences, these list sources could have a average open rate > 20%:

  1. actually it can be the basic pool to test if your email content attracts influencers or not, but definitely not the one-step-success.
  2. Anewstip: this platform helps you search related journalists by articles and tweets. It’s a good choice to accumulate your own lists in specific industry.
  3. Utilize social connection with famous author: since media influencers may follow each other about what other related media in same industry has posted. If you already have few press coverages, this is a way to ask related media to retweet or repost, even rewrite an article about your brand.
  4. SparkAmplify: This platform is another choice to quickly get recommended media lists in specific industry category, without manually search.Another secret is, maintaining the relationship with media influencers in case for need becomes another important brand asset. So that’s why these brands (Oh!WHATif,ORII,Airfox)already collect some of media influencers in their profile account.
Furthermore, after we optimized the email open rate, we found some list categories could reach average open rate > 30%:
  1. Media or influencers who have covered your competitors: This segment needs a customized email subject line and content, since they’ve covered your competitor with both deep knowledge and interests, your pitch email must highlight unique product features to persuade them.
  2. Niche market media: If one of your product feature could serve a niche market, don’t hesitate to tell influencers in that niche category.

2. Email Subject Line — How subject line effects open rate?

Once you find the right person on your list, the next thing is to create an unforgettable first impression. According to our A/B tests on different subject lines with same group of lists:

  1. When mentioned one of the respected media influencers => increase 11.3% open
  2. Add specific label to help media influencer know what you’re going to pitch => increase 10% open
  3. Use new wording in mature categories => increase 8% open As you can see below, in combo 2 and 3, I change the wordings to differently describe the same product concept. Since smart home product becomes extremely common, if I still use the normal subject line, my media pitch may probably be ignored:

Example Subject lines for you to customize:

  • [Press Release] {AwesomeProduct}: {One simple sentence to describe the killer feature of your product}.
  • 💬 See what {Jack} has covered recently =>
  • ✒ See what’s the buzz around {Your Product}, the only xxx {category} {product}. Don’t miss it.

3. Email Content — How email content effects click rate?

Before you dig into the email dialogue creation, the most important thing is to clarify what’s the only one unique thing you wanna say? Probably in a innovative perspective that other 30,000 brands won’t even think of, and of course, within short sentence around 50–100 words.

  1. First ParagraphSince the very first sentence will also show on the mailbox preview, it’s better to put some words that could make media influencers interests about you.*Hint: You can use email distribution service to setup the “preview text”, but it’s very important to customize your content through different list segments, don’t send mass emails at once, keep it in mind!
  2. Why Journalist Will Be Impressed By YouWhat’s the killer features of your article/product? In average, media/journalists only spend 18 seconds to read your media pitch, so always put the most important thing in first paragraph, and keep short and sweet.
  3. More Benefits to Persuade Them Cover YouWhat’s the benefits of your article/product…list them down at most three bullet points
  4. Calls-to-action (CTA)Specific provide what media influencers want, such as press kit, article or video

As intelligence media outreach evangelists, we decide to highlight the dos and don’ts suggestions from top-tier media, let you quickly build up a basis of what exactly influencers and journalists thinking of media pitch:

Dos and Don’ts Suggestions from Journalists in Top Media

Mikal E. Belicove, contributor at Forbes:

  1. Do Reference Social Proofs or 3rd-party Data to Back Up Your Claims
  2. Do Personalize Your Pitch*Hint: in this case, you can customize the content in an efficient way by using variables carefully, but remember that you still need to segment your lists first, so that you can truly customize your content with each list group.
  3. Don’t Pitch in Public (Social Accounts). Better use private message or direct email.

Stephanie Vermillion, author at TheEdge

  1. Do try to build relationships with the media:*Hint: one way to maintain the relationships with media influencers is providing them valuable little known information. And another idea is to use a network platform service to manage and keep collecting related media influencers.
  2. Do Playback Your Coverage on Social Media to Get Further Exposure Results

If you’re going to pitch on social media…

Ian James Wright, author at PRNews Online:

  1. Do check influencer’s information first
  2. Don’t Let your social relationship end once you get coverage

Zoe Fox, author at Mashable

  1. Twitter can be a great place to reach out. Not suggesting Facebook since it’s more appropriate for private relationship.*Hint: Make sure to follow the influencer/journalist first, then privately tell her to DM you her contacts for work
  2. It’s unnecessary to message a reminder about you’ve emailed a pitch

So now you’ve learnt more basic common sense of influencer outreach, happy outreaching :)

Recent Updates