How To Write The Perfect Pitch For A Press Release

So we have told you how to write the perfect press release, but that is only half the battle. The hardest part is sending it, and getting the recipients to entertain even opening the email, let alone downloading and reading the press release attached. The title of this piece may be a little deceiving, as nothing in life is ever perfect, and writing the ‘perfect’ pitch is near impossible. But this article aims to get you as close as possible to that perfect, dream pitch, and guide you through writing one that will get your point across and entice and please almost any journalist or editor that receives it. 
The Subject Line

When you receive an email, the first thing you see is the recipient, and the subject line. This small line of around 15 words or less is what determines whether you open the email and read on, or simply mark as junk and delete without even opening.

Now put yourself in the shoes of a press professional such as a journalist or editor. They receive hundreds if not thousands of emails every single day, and so far more rides on the subject line of those emails than ever before, because they aren't going to open and read every single email, they just don’t have time!

So spend time going over various ideas for subject lines, don’t just rush into it. Write as many as you can think of that best sum up your point in a short and snappy way. If you are trying to get across numerous points, then you will need to decide which one takes the lead and most importantly will be the most important in the eyes of that particular recipient and their publication.

 For example, if you were sending a press release to a local newspaper about a local independent corner shop suffering due to a big supermarket chain opening up just across the road, then your subject line might read something like ‘Corporate giants hit local business hard’ or ‘Local shop suffers as chain store opens in area’. Each one gets the entire point across and the angle that will appeal to the publication in fewer than 10 words.

The Introduction

The first one or two sentences make up your introduction, and some people prefer to use just one to the point sentence to grab attention, but two can be used to further elaborate the point if it is needed. It is as important as your subject line, because although they have been drawn in and opened the email, they can just as easily read the first line and decide to bin it. But if you hook them in with the introduction then you can at least rest assured that they are willing to read on. 

Use the introduction as a way to elaborate on the subject line’s point. Tell the recipient why this topic is such an interesting one, and make sure it has a good hook that will grab attention and make them desperate to know more. The best hook is to link the point to something the recipient can relate to, so try to learn more about the journalist or editor and their publication before writing your intro, and use that information to create a hook.

The Main Body

Now you have pretty much got them where you want them by using your subject and introduction to hook them in and leave them salivating for more knowledge on your topic.  The best way to start is to revisit anything that you promised to reveal in your introduction, so start by further elaborating on any points from there.

Remember, you have attached a detailed press release, so this main body is about giving them a taste of what information they will find in there by highlighting key aspects of the release. Go into some detail but don’t go overboard, because you still want them to read the release. Bullet points are a favourite with journalists as they can see exactly what they are going to get from the press release summarised, and it helps you when writing the pitch to rein it in and not end up rewriting the release.

Keep referring back to the attached release so they know they can find a complete and detailed, almost ready made article attached, but be sure to divulge enough information about the key aspects and keep linking back to the angle relevant to the recipient.

Check out our guide to writing the perfect press release here.

Got any tips on writing the perfect pitch? Please share them with us below in the comments section!

Labels: , , ,