Creating an Effective Media Pitch
Sometimes social media isn’t enough to get your brand out there and more traditional methods are necessary. An alternative is to write a media pitch to send to local reporters and influencers to spread the word. Writing an effective media pitch can be difficult, however. A media pitch usually follows a standard format, but getting creative is also necessary.
It usually begins with an attention grabber in the subject line, followed by a greeting and then a paragraph detailing why the reader should care. The next paragraph details basic information. Usually, brief facts are also bulleted at the bottom of the email, followed by an offer to intrigue the reader.
Let’s look at this in a real application. Imagine that the Color Run wanted to advertise their upcoming race. Let’s say they have a race in April and they want to generate some buzz about it. They’ve got a few sponsors on board, as well as a celebrity runner. The first step would be to research potential reporters who have covered similar stories before. You could also write to bloggers and other influencers. After identifying a candidate, they would then compose an email. The first paragraph would be something like this:
Subject: Could you keep up with Olympic champion Usain Bolt?
Dear Mrs. X,
As you probably know from your research on “Running with the Champions,” published on January 15, Usain Bolt is the second fastest man alive. He will be running with our other participants in the Color Run in April. While he will be running this race as fast as he can, people will be able to chat with him afterwards at the finish line.
This first section has an interesting subject line and then proceeds to explain it in the first paragraph. It also shows the reporter why she would be interested in writing an article about the Color Run. It is important to have this initial formula, otherwise, a reporter will lose interest. Remember: reporters receive hundreds of media pitches a day.
The body of the email should remain short, but packed with essential information. Don’t make it too dense as to become boring, but make sure you include interesting information.
The Color Run, aka the Happiest 5K on the Planet, is a unique national race that adds even more fun to a traditional race. This race is for everyone, since we don’t have winners or official times. We focus on a healthy lifestyle, as well as giving back to the community. We have donated more than $5 million in charity. Our next race on April 20th in Salt Lake City, Utah will be our biggest race yet:
- 20% of entrance fees will be donated to local charities.
- Usain Bolt will be at the race, as well as participate in our campaing leading up to the run.
- Children will have an opportunity to have their pictures taken with Bolt after the race.
This basic information will give the reporter ideas of angles they can use to write a potential article. It needs to be enticing as well as informative.
The final message of the email needs to be one last hook for the reporter. Essentially, it needs to be an offer they can’t resist. You will also need to offer to follow up with said reporter. Again, reporters are busy and get media pitches every day. When you actually follow up, you can ask them whether or not they are interested (a yes or no question).
Usain Bolt will be available for an interview from February 1. Would you be interested in meeting with him that day? I will follow up with you in a few days to check with you.
Thanks for your time,
By offering an actual interview with Bolt, the reporter will see an advantage to writing your story. Assuming the article is written, it has the potential to generate new signups for the run.
Media pitches are an effective way to create growth with audiences that might not be reached through other methods. If you decide to pitch to a blogger or other influencer, you also can reach people who will see those influencers as reliable spokespeople. This is a great tactic for any PR or marketing campaign.