4- Show that you understand the journalist’s work
Earned media is a confusing game when it comes to content style, but understanding the journalist’s work is crucial to getting them to accept your pitch.
If a journalist is known for writing cultural commentary and long-form pieces, they are likely not going to accept a run of the mill press release about earnings or fundraising. It’s not their writing style. Same goes on the flip side: a breaking news journalist is less likely to accept a feature profile pitch.
Whenever you’re pitching, make sure you pitch to fit:
- The journalist’s writing topics
- Writing style(s) the journalist typically uses
To get this information, look at the journalist’s work online. A Google search will turn up most of what you want to know, but looking at their LinkedIn or MuckRack will also help you understand where else/how else they write.
When crafting an earned media pitch, remember that journalists are busy and are often thinking about a million things at once. Similar to positioning your product well, position your pitch in the context of other the journalist’s other work.
For example, if you want a feature profile article out of your pitch, mention a feature profile article that the journalist has already written in your reach out. Then explain why your story would be great for that format – perhaps it’s someone willing to go “no holds barred” on the record, making for a really interesting story, or perhaps it’s a notable person that people want to read about.
Hinting at possible formats is a good way to help the journalist frame your story. Just don’t be pushy about it if they opt to take a different story angle.
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