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 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
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
Labels: epr, pitch writing, press release, writing a press release