First things first: we’re not talking about pitching like Roger Clemens or anyone in major league baseball. We’re talking about pitching stories to reporters.
Most reporters are inundated with thousands of pitch phone calls and emails from business owners and publicists every day. At some point, reporters stop reading pitches, or at best, give them very slight attention. Against these odds, getting your message to stand out from the crowd can seem like a near impossible feat.
Ask Yourself: Why Should the Journalist’s Readers Care?
The secret is to think carefully and creatively about what you are going to pitch a reporter. Don’t waste the reporter’s time, and most importantly, don’t waste your own. A reporter will bite on only the most compelling of pitches.
The most important part of an email pitch is the subject line. If this fails to capture the reporter’s attention, it is unlikely that your email will even be opened. A truthful, but attention-grabbing subject line is essential. The subject line should contain the most compelling reason the reporter should read further and consider writing a story o n your subject and client.
Imagine You’re Shouting Good News to a Neighbor Across the Street
When creating a powerful subject line, I tell my young associates to imagine that they are yelling some wonderful news across the street to a neighbor. The key here is to communicate the most interesting and newsworthy part of your story in the most concise manner.