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How to get a journalist to actually read and respond to your pitch
When we start up a business we normally don't think far enough ahead as to where we are going to pitch out ideas. Did you know that journalists are looking for the next big thing and will report on it, or write about it, if they think it's going to be great? Sure, you think your new business idea is the next big thing but if you're not getting in front of the right people, no one will see it and appreciate it the way you do. You've incorporated your business, put up a website, and even have some pad advertising up and running but what about news coverage? This can turn your high traffic website into a monster of your industry, in a good way of course.
You'll need to write up plenty of pitch letters, and emails, when you plan on launching your business. Don't worry if you've already launched or have been live for years, it's never to late to start pitching to journalists When you write up your pitch letters, you need to do it in a non spammy way because it will just get deleted if the person reading it thinks it's garbage. You need to think of your pitch as a part of your business, you wouldn't add something bad to your business, would you? So what do you do exactly to increase the chances of getting your letters and emails seen are read? How can you increase the chances of getting a response if someone actually reads your letters and emails? Well, in this discussion I'll be going over 5 ways you can get a journalist to respond to your pitch more frequently
You'll need to follow up after you send in your pitch
Following up a pitch is pretty common, it's just like if you send in a resume or call back after an interview. You're checking up on what you sent in to see if you were considered for the job, or if the journalist actually saw your pitch, in hopes to get something out of it and overtake your competition. You need to remember that most media professionals will get upwards of 500 emails each day. Now, they may not all get this many emails, but if they are getting just 100 emails and letters a day, they could still get overwhelmed and miss your pitch pretty easily. If you don't get a quick response, I would recommend sending in an email around day 3 to day 5 after your pitch. If you wait a week or two before you follow up, your pitch could have been deleted or your letter could have been thrown away. You need to strike while the iron is hot lol.
You can follow up on your pitch a couple times, you don't have to rely on one single follow up in order to get seen. Send in one or two additional emails or phone calls to see if your pitch has been noticed. The worst that will happen is they have seen it and just weren't interested. They don't have time to call back everyone who pitches them, so don't take it to heart if they didn't reach out to you.
If you haven't heard back from them after 2 trys to call or email them, you can try a third time but that's it. Don't try to contact them again after that about this pitch because you could just hurt your relationship with the journalist or media company you're trying to work with. You can contact them later on for different ideas and pitches, but stop after 3 emails for each pitch so you preserve your relationship and stay in good standing.
Pitch a different angle
If your pitches aren't working and getting in front of the journalist or media company, you may want to think of a different way to pitch. You could do this yourself or have someone come in and help you with your pitch. It's always great to have additional input from someone else because they are a fresh mind and see things a little different than you do. You may think your pitches all look different, but they could actually be coming off as similar because of how you type, speak, etc.
In your pitch, you should relate to similar technology that is already in the limelight and how you are going to be at the top in no time. If you're going to be cutting edge, you need to show it with live examples and statistics so you can back up your claims. Journalist and media companies don't want to hear claims, they want to see results before they act on anything.
Pitch to the right people
Just like setting up a new website or business, you need to do your due diligence on who the right people are within the industry you're trying to pitch to. This means you need to know which journalists to pitch to because they aren't all the same. If you're pitching to a sports journalist and you sell baskets, you won't hear a response anytime soon and that journalist will likely ghost your emails, phone calls and throw away your letters as soon as they see them.
If you're not sure who to pitch to, you can always go on LinkedIn and figure out what kind of journalist the person is. You can simply go through their profiles and see what they are currently writing about, if it's not related to your idea or website, move on and find a journalist that would be interested in hearing what you have to say
Pitch to different journalists at the same company
Now, don't take this the wrong way, you don't want to pitch to every single person you can at a media company. You just want to pitch to a couple different journalists at the company in order to increase your chances of getting found. If two journalists are talking to each other about your website or business, they will quickly realize there is something that is buzz worthy and they need to call you back ASAP. If you contact just one journalist, they may not see the popularity of your website or business right away and could pass on writing anything about you.
Again, you need to make your pitch enticing but also full of facts and statistics. If you're just sending them an email saying "I'm the best! Call Me!" you won't hear your phone ringing too often lol.
If you've pitch everyone but still haven't heard anything back
Let's say you've pitched 50 media companies and haven't heard back from any of them. You wrote up the best pitch you could think of and no one has even sent an email saying they weren't interested. Your pitch likely was off topic and not written up well, but don't worry, there are people out there that can help you write up amazing pitches that will help you get responses. I've actually written up a few of these pitches because my clients weren't having success on their own. It was only a 1 page pitch, but it took 3 days to write each one since I had to do a ton of research, and that is why a lot of pitches don't work. Not many people are investing enough time to create a high quality pitch that grabs the attention of the journalist.
Take your time when writing up a pitch and you will be happy you did
The best way to entice someone to open your email or read your letter is to make your title interesting. You don't have to do any sort of click bait tactics by adding dollar signs and numbers into the title, just write up something interesting and you'll get noticed. You'll need to take your time when writing up a pitch, it isn't something you're going to be able to do in one sitting. Write your pitch over the course of a day or two, maybe even three like I did, and you will see a much higher quality pitch than if you took just an hour to do it.
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