8 Easy PR Pitch Tips That Will Improve Your Results Today

Mar 06, 2023

All PR pros know that pitching is the bread and butter of PR — you can’t land a killer press placement for your client without sending a killer pitch first! But a journalist’s inbox is a crowded place, and it’s easy for your pitch to get lost in the shuffle or tossed in the trash over the tiniest details. I’ve got you covered with all the pitch tips you need to take your strategy to the next level and make your pitches irresistible to editors in your niche! 

8 Simple Pitch Tips to Improve Your Results Today 

After nearly 18 years in the PR industry, I’ve seen some really great pitches and have seen some really rough ones. But honestly, just a few small adjustments can take your pitch from good to great — and help you start landing bigger and better features. Here are eight easy pitch tips that will improve your results with journalists and editors in your niche today (seriously!).

#1: Personalize It!

This will always, always be my #1 pitch tip. Robotic pitches void of personality are not going to make an impression on your media contact…and spray-and-pray emails will send you right to the trash bin! Your pitch needs to speak to who the editor is, why this story is relevant and important to them, and why it’s the right choice for their publication.

Every part of your pitch should be fully personalized, from the opening line and email body to the CTA and signature. Put in the effort to connect with your media contact on a deeper level and craft a message that is for them and only them. Show them that you respect them as a fellow comms pro (and fellow human!) and are truly invested in their talent and their work. 

#2: Stun Them with Your Subject Line 

Your subject line is your first impression on a journalist, so you need to make a splash! Editors receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day, and the vast majority of them will just get ignored. Of all the pitch tips, this one has the simplest goal: you just need them to open your email. 

You already know that you need to write a personalized subject line for every pitch you send. A subject line relevant to your contact’s beat, publication, and expertise is far more likely to get their attention than something vague. But beyond that, keep your subject line on the shorter side. An engaging and targeted subject line that’s super lengthy is useless if it gets cut off by an editor’s email preview.

Related: 7 PR Mistakes You're Making With Your Pitches to Journalists & Editors

#3: You’re Writing a Pitch, Not a Novel

Just because you can write hundreds of words for your pitch doesn’t mean you should. When writing a pitch, your main goal is to give the editor all the info they need to decide whether or not to proceed with your story angle. As long as you can hit all your main points, you shouldn’t need more than a few hundred words! 

Remember that your pitch lead is part two of your pitch’s first impression. If a journalist opens up your email and sees a massive first paragraph waiting for them, they won’t be inclined to read through all that info to find your angle (and honestly, they might not have the time!). Like the last pitch tip, short and sweet is best, so keep your lead paragraph to just a few sentences.

#4: Don’t Make Editors Search for Info

This pitch tip is twofold: you need to link out to relevant client sites in your pitches, but you can’t go overboard with it! Editors are busy and don’t need the extra step of heading over to Google to find your client’s website. Give them all the links and information they need right away — having important info clickable and accessible makes an editor’s job way easier, and you’ll know they have the most accurate, up-to-date stats on hand! 

I know it can be tempting to just link and link and link, but hold back! Putting a ton of links into your email is overwhelming to read and can prompt your media contact to move on from your pitch. Only include necessary links and stick to one or two (at most!) per paragraph. 

#5: Avoid Sending Attachments 

When including your client’s assets in your pitch, it’s super easy to just act on autopilot and add them as attachments. But this is a huge no! Including attachments with your pitch can get your email flagged as spam in your contact’s inbox. Plus, editors who read pitches on the go might not be able to view your attachment until they’re back in the office…and any delay leaves room for another pitch to catch your contact’s attention instead.

Share your client’s assets as links, not as attachments. I recommend adding the assets to a special Google Drive or Dropbox folder and linking out to that in the body of your pitch. Make sure the folder’s viewing and editing permissions are updated before you send your email so your media contact can access the files. Break that attachment habit and start implementing this pitch tip right away!

#6: Your Second Set of Eyes Is Your Best Friend 

Editors and journalists are writers first, and they don’t want to receive a pitch littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. Sending out an error-ridden pitch shows a lack of respect for your media contact and can seriously hurt your relationship with them. You never want them to think you just threw an email together and sent it without a second thought! 

How you implement this pitch tip is up to you. Your best bet is to check in with a team member and ask them to read over your pitch before you send it — their fresh eyes will spot small mistakes you’ve missed and can smooth out clunky wording. But if you’re short on time or are pitching for a last-minute opportunity, you can run your email through a grammar-checking software like Grammarly. Reading your pitch aloud helps you catch small mistakes, too! 

#7: Send Pitches When Your Contacts Are Online 

My first few pitch tips were about writing your email, but this one is about sending it. There’s no point in sending your pitch outside of working hours, whether you’re working late on a project or playing catch-up on the weekend. Journalists and editors are most likely unplugged from work and won’t get to your pitch until the next workday anyway. And if you’re pitching on the weekend, your email could get buried at the bottom of their inbox by Monday. 

It’s always best to send your pitches when you know your contact will be online. Be mindful of time zones if you’re connecting with editors outside your area — your 9-to-5 isn’t necessarily theirs! Double-check holidays when reaching out to international publications, too. They may have a long weekend that you don’t!

#8: Don’t Flub the Follow-Up 

Unlike the other pitch tips, this one extends right to the end of your pitching process: the way you follow up is just as important as your original pitch. Journalists and editors are busy people, too, and there’s always a chance they simply haven’t seen your pitch yet. If you haven’t heard back after a day or two, send a follow-up email to check in to see if they’ve read your email or need any additional info. If you still don’t get a response, move on to your next contact! 

Once an editor has accepted your pitch and is in the writing process, keep the follow-ups to a minimum. Respond promptly when they ask for more info or request specific assets, but don’t constantly reach out to see how the writing is going! Trust your media contact to do their job and then let them do it. They’ll appreciate your trust and will be more likely to work with you again. 

Pitching is one of the most important parts of PR, but it can be tough to land top-tier features! If you’re not sure why you’re not getting the results you want, implement these pitch tips the next time you reach out to your contacts. These eight tiny tweaks will improve your open rates and your response rates — you’ll score a major feature for your client in no time!