Hundreds of public relations pitch emails go unanswered every day, or even worse, unopened and deleted. There’s no surefire way to get a response from a pitch, but there are ways to up your chances.
Awful subject lines, bad introductions and simple misspellings or grammar mistakes are some of the reasons journalists delete emails without even reading them. Be mindful of those trigger points before you hit send on an email.
Below are 6 more tips and tricks to get your public relations pitch opened, and hopefully, answered!
1. Know Your Target
Though it takes time to research each journalist you pitch, it pays to know who you’re emailing. Spend a few minutes researching the writer's past work and make a personal connection in your pitch.
Don’t be overly familiar; remember you aren’t actually friends with this person (yet!). Many journalists don't like greetings like "hey" or "hi" as they are too informal and personal. Pen a polite greeting and begin with what connects them with what you're pitching.
2. Short, Sweet, and Information-Packed
Include the most crucial details. Keep it short and sweet, if the recipient is interested you'll talk specifics later. You have a better chance of getting an email read and answered if it reads more like a twitter post than a novel.
Be enthusiastic while maintaining a business tone, too.
Sell the product, your client, and get a follow up email by fine-tuning your elevator pitch.
3. The Subject Line Rules
This is your first impression, and if the person you're emailing doesn’t have a previous relationship with you, this is your only chance.
Make sure your subject line is short, intriguing and specific. A broad subject can indicate a mass email which often times will go unread and straight to the trash.
Avoid hooks and catch lines in your subject line that are attention grabbing, but not actually relevant to your pitch.
4. Finish Strong
Photo Credit: Coach Cam Fitness
Always conclude your pitch with a clear call to action. Ask your recipient to set up an interview or a meeting, or contact you for more information, or high-res pictures.
5. Nail the Follow Up
Allow your pitch to sink in, but don't let too much time pass. Give your recipient about 3 to 5 days to read your email, decide if it’s relevant to them, and answer before following up.
Keep your original email attached at the bottom as reference. Or, you can reach out on social media to give it an extra twist!
As a bonus you can offer extra incentives (an exclusive interview, product samples, etc.) in your follow up email to really get their attention.
6. How to Handle the ‘No’
Photo Credit: Winning Away
Your email got read, and you received a response! Except that response said, “No thanks” or “not relevant right now”. Keep this contact for future pitches. Next time you pitch, they'll remember your name, and fingers crossed, the stars will align for a future story.