Here’s a questiont hat I get asked a LOT! Like pretty much daily!
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“How many pitches does it take to become successful at PR Carrie? ”
I fully understand this question, because I can be like this with other things. For example: I might say to Sarah Arrow; how many blogs does it take to become successful at blogging, which I am sure will be a future guest blog post by her!
In my view, to answer the question; let me share with you what it might be like to journalists to receive your pitch.
Imagine it from their viewpoint, every day they receive hundreds of emails; most of them are pitches. Working their way through theses can be a job in itself! In New York, at Steve Harrison’s media Summit, a lady who worked for Entrepreneur said that she alone receive over a 100 emails per hour! So, she advised us to, put in the subject box of the email to her with ” NPS,’ and she would be more likely to even open it!
Would you, if you were a journalist, and were receiving hundreds of emails a day, respond to everyone one? I doubt it. Would you keep them on file until that moment you might need them; maybe, maybe not.
Many journalists have said to me personally that they will typically keep your name and email on file as they never quite know when they might need you, and having your details on file; quite simply makes their life much easier!
Pitching in a nutshell, is a combination of persistence, and of timing more than anything, in my view. There is another aspect which will make all of the difference which I have touched upon and that is the personal touch.
For example: even if you persist with your pitching, again and again and again, and you understand the importance of getting your pitch out there as soon as possible, especially for breaking news. if you leave out the personal touch it might also be ignored.
Let me share with you an example. If a journalist received two pitches for the same things. Let’s say that one journalist received a pitch with their name spelt incorrectly, without any clear acknowledgement in their email of their work.
For example, the email was a ,’ me, me, me pitch;’ meaning that the pitch was all about that person not how you could help media, would they pick them?
How about if they journalist received an email which actually spelt their name correctly, and clearly demonstrated that they had consumed their media, and even knew that they loved dogs, AND obviously pitched a very good idea?
Both people emailing the journalist could well have excellent intentions, yet the later would be the one whose email would be more likely to be opened.
Of course the timing aspect of the pitch is a key factor, as if they sent it at the wrong time of the week or month, so that their deadline had passed or so that the story was too late then they would though at least be put on file; unlike the first person’s email which would be very likely just deleted.
To be successful at pitching the media takes: persistence, it takes a personal touch and it takes timing. There is not quick-fix to this really; as even if you do subscribe to a PR leads company, you cannot guarantee that the journalist will pick you, as they will still have hundreds of people emailing them and vying for the soot.
For me, the more you can personalise the email and then also offer tour help even if it is from someone in your community, the more likely the journalist will come back to you; as we all like to work with people we like, know and trust and journalists are no different.
I trust that helps.
Get in touch if you like to know more, I have a membership programme; relaunching soon and courses too, to save you the effort of learning all the nuances of PR yourself, as I am sure you have more than enough on your plate!
Love Carrie x