One of the most challenging parts of a PR consultant’s job is getting the attention of reporters. The PR pro must engage with people who are typically overworked and inundated with hundreds of e-mails and phone calls a day. Standing out in the crowd is both an art and a science.
It is not a job for the faint-hearted.
Alyson Stonetell analyzes this challenge in the Business Insider‘s article “10 Dead-honest Reasons Reporters Delete Your E-mail.”
Here are her 10 cogent (and, I believe, right on) reasons.
- Accept that most of your e-mails get deleted immediately.
- Even if your email gets opened, there’s a 50/50 chance it will be deleted without being read (or replied to).
- With that in mind, the first step to a successful pitch is to know who you’re emailing.
- Know what the reporter covers.
- Decide what is most compelling about you to the vast majority of people.
- Keep it short and avoid buzzwords.
- Good subject lines are intriguing.
- Bad subject lines are broad, irrelevant, and boring.
- Do not ambush or give a false sense of urgency.
- Here’s an example of an excellent pitch.
I encourage you to read the read of the article at http://www.businessinsider.com/10-secrets-to-pitching-reporters-when-no-one-knows-who-the-hell-you-are-2011-6#10-heres-an-example-of-an-excellent-pitch-10#ixzz1QFFxN7SQ
And other information about how to deal with the media is available at www.CommunicationsPlus.net/PRArticles.html.
Susan Monroe says
Great post. The reason that really resonated was #7. “Good subject lines are intriguing.”
A direct mail guru (whose name I’ve forgotten) notes that you’ve got about 49 characters and spaces to get someone’s attention. That’s not a lot, so it argues in favor of finely honed copy. I bet that holds true in PR as well.