David Meerman Scott recently posted a very well thought out post “How to Pitch the Media” which rang true as I purged at least 10 unsolictied pitches for irrelevant stories from my inbox for Business Lexington this morning. The pitches were ridiculous – general, poorly written, disorganized, and time consuming to read. Honestly, I just organized my in-box and found that my company received 4,450 emails that were not spam (66,138 were) in January. I monitor 1920 RSS feeds (loosely) and 300 or so rigorously. I don’t need your bland, poorly thought out ideas.
- Read the magazine and understand something about why it exists. Uh oh, you say, now you can’t spam the journalists with mass email. Nope, sure can’t. Often the magazine will push out its stories on an RSS feed, giving you the perfect vehicle for keeping up-to-date.
- Tell them why this story or idea is unique. Is it new? Why shouldn’t they just take the pitch and write about the competition? Even though journalism is only about 5% of my work week, I hate receiving pitches that reek of laziness.
- Don’t insult their intelligence.
- Provide URLs for reference in the story that are clickable.
- Make it immediately apparent that you’ve done your homework. Think inverted pyramid.
- Make your note skimmable – make the key points visible in the preview pane. Marketing Sherpa tells us why it’s so important.
- Don’t bother with stories about promotions, name changes, internal reorganizations, sponsorships, donations or other internal matters.
If you plan to pitch bloggers, I recommend checking out this post, which includes some rules which demonstrates that the blogosphere is different than the standard journalistic brigade. And there is also evidence that bloggers’ importance seems to be gaining ground all the time.