Does the Perfect Pitch Exist?

Written by: Justin Burkhardt

Pitching is one of the most important roles of any public relations professional but does the perfect pitch, one that can guarantee you a media placement, exist? The answer is both yes and no. 

The answer is no because there is no one uniform pitch that will guarantee you a placement across the board 100% of the time. In fact, trying to pitch different reporters and outlets the exact same way is one of the biggest mistakes a public relations professional can make. However, there are ways to ensure that your pitching effort is as flawless as it can be. Here are five tips when it comes to creating that “perfect” pitch:

  1.      Research the outlet – Every media outlet has their own unique style, so it really helps to spend some time going through old articles/videos that are relevant to your pitch’s industry/industries. Seek out journalists who talk about your client’s competitors to find out what they like about them. It’s also important to use a PR tool like Cision to figure out who the appropriate reporter to contact is. Many reporter’s Cision’s profiles will tell you how they prefer to be contacted as well.
  2.      Build relationships with the reporters you’re pitching – This one takes time but building a relationship with a reporter is one the most important things you can do in terms of pitching success. Introduce yourself to the reporter via e-mail and give them a few bullet points on relevant clients for the future. Following and engaging with them on social media is one great way to build a relationship. Also, don’t be afraid to simply ask them what type of pitches they like to receive – they’ll have no problem telling you!
  3.      Craft your unique pitch – With the information that you now have, create a pitch that is unique to the reporter/outlet that you’re pitching. Reporters are extremely good at sniffing out a pitch that is copy and pasted, so you should never pitch two different reporters the same thing. Make sure that your pitch is both timely and engaging.  
  4.      Get to the point – While you need to make sure your pitch is timely and tells a compelling story, you also need to be straight to the point. It’s not fun writing a long-winded pitch, and it’s even less fun to read one. You must always remember to respect the reporter’s time, so your pitch must be short and sweet.
  5.      Follow up, correctly – When it comes to following up on a pitch, don’t be pushy and don’t follow up too soon. Wait a few days to follow up on your pitch, and make sure to keep it polite and simple. One of the most effective follow up techniques is to add a little extra value to your follow up by including some new photos or information. Also, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone for a quick follow up call… And if your pitch doesn’t land right away, don’t take it personally. Even if your pitch isn’t a good fit at this time, they still may be interested in the future.

Following these five tips will not only ensure that your pitch is as successful as possible, but also it will help reporters see you as a valuable resource.

Interested in finding out how Slice can help you pitch your business? Contact us to find out more.