As a freelance writer who has a few big-name publications in her portfolio, it’s inevitable that I’m going to receive unsolicited pitches from PR firms—I’ve accepted that, and I even have a special folder in my inbox where I store all these communications.
However, I’m quite often surprised at how bad many of the pitches are. I’d say half of all pitches completely miss the mark in terms of what I do and who I write for, and that’s frustrating. After all, good PR pitches are beneficial to both of us: They get your client in front of a new audience, and they give me fresh, interesting material to write about.
With that in mind, here are some tips on crafting a PR pitch that I’ll actually read and, generally, respond to.
First, please take five minutes of your time and research what I write about. I’ll give you a hint: It’s not apps or travel or cooking. So when you pitch me ideas in those categories, they go straight into the circular file.
Even better, read a few articles and get a sense for my style, tone and overall approach. The more you can tailor a pitch to me, the more likely I’m going to read it.
Research My Publications
Once you’ve figured out who I am, take a minute to get a sense of the publications I write for. Each site has specific “tastes,” if you will, as well as a certain target audience. Figure out what they are before you pitch.
Too many pitches that flood my inbox are requests for product reviews.
One of my biggest pet peeves? Too many pitches that flood my inbox are requests for product reviews. I hate to break it to you, but none of the sites I work with publish product reviews. Sure, your new line of shoes may be cool, but I can’t (and won’t) write an article saying that.
That brings me to the next, and perhaps most important, point…
Explain the Relevance
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a busy woman. For that reason, I love pitches that do the “thinking” for me. A great pitch will explain, specifically:
- What publication you’re most interested in (I have several, after all).
- What you think the angle of the article should be.
- Why the topic is relevant to the audience of that specific publication.
If you can do those three things in a concise, to-the-point email, I’m 1,000 times more likely to pitch the idea to my editors, and I guarantee you I’ll at least respond to thank you for reaching out.
Don’t Just Offer Me Free Shit
Finally, please don’t assume that offering me free products is the only thing you need to do to get press. Because, in fact, I cannot and will not accept freebies in exchange for publication. That’s unfair to my readers and pretty unethical.
Don’t get me wrong—I’d love nothing more than to roll around in a pile of free samples. However, I’ll only accept them when there are no strings attached.
Hopefully this helps in some capacity—now head over to my contact page and craft an amazing pitch! I look forward to hearing from you!