A media pitch vs. press release, what is the difference?
A media pitch can include all elements that make up a traditional press release. Still, it can also be used as a standalone communication tool for journalists looking for more in-depth information about your organization. Media pitches are typically shorter than traditional press releases, so they’re better suited when you want to share your story with journalists quickly.
A media pitch is a sales presentation. It’s meant to persuade journalists to write about your company or organization. On the other hand, press releases are usually sent out to inform the public about new developments.
Media pitches are often done in person by pitching teams who visit media outlets. This kind of pitch requires a lot of research and preparation before going into the meeting. On the other hand, press releases are typically sent via email. They don’t require much time or effort to prepare.
So, which should you choose? Media pitches are good for companies looking to get their name out there. In contrast, press releases are good for informing the public about new events.
Why Choose One Strategy Over The Other?
A media pitch can be effective if it’s tailored for each outlet. That way, they know how to best market themselves. For example, while some publications like to have a reporter come to them, others prefer to interview over the phone. So, make sure you tailor your pitch accordingly.
Another thing to remember is that many people use both media pitches and press releases. If you want to reach more people, you need to try both strategies. But, remember: neither will replace the other. You cannot expect one strategy to work without the other.
You can also include links to social media pages when creating a press release. And, this helps build traffic to your site as well.
How To Make A Great Media Pitch?
It’s not enough to send a press release as an email pitch. You have to make sure that your entire story and release are compelling. Combining both a press release and media pitch is the foundation of an effective email pitch. Here are a few tips on how to create a great pitch.
1. Do Your Research
Before sending out your email pitch, make sure you understand what you’re sending and find out where the publication is located and the audience’s interest. Find a journalist you think would be interested in that publication and ask them if they have any questions. After all, you want to make sure that your message gets through.
2. Don’t Be Too Complicated
Journalists aren’t very interested in reading long documents. Keep your pitch simple. Use bullet points whenever possible. Also, avoid using too many abbreviations. Instead, use full words. Avoid jargon as much as possible.
3. Write In Plain English
When you’ve written your pitch, proofread it carefully. Look for spelling mistakes and grammar errors. Make sure that everything is clear and easy to read.
4. Proofread Again!
Once again, proofread your content before sending it out. No matter how perfect your original draft was, the chances are that something got lost along the way.
5. Include Links
Add links to other resources that support your claims. Providing statistics and facts that back up your statements adds weight to your story creating a highly effective pitch.
6. Subject Lines
If your subject line doesn’t grab attention, no one will open your email. It’s important to write a catchy headline.
7. Get feedback
If you’re lucky, you may receive feedback from journalists after sending out your pitch. If so, ask them what worked and what didn’t. Also, ask them if they need additional information or if they have any questions.
8. Send Out More Pitches
Don’t stop with one pitch. Try to get several published. And always follow up with a thank-you note or email.
9. Never Give Up
Even though it might take weeks or months to hear back from someone, continue pitching until you get results.
10. Review Your Results
After receiving feedback, don’t forget to review what you did right and what you could improve. Reviewing the input will help you better write pitches in the future.
After publishing multiple pitches, you should start seeing positive results. Eventually, you’ll develop a reputation within your industry, allowing you to get more coverage
Creating a Great Press Release News Story Idea
Now that you know about the different types of pitches, let’s discuss how to develop ideas for stories and create a story angle.
Step One: Understand Trends
To create an interesting story, you first have to identify trends. It doesn’t matter if these trends happen in the world around us or inside our minds. The important thing is that they exist. Once you recognize trends, you can begin creating story ideas by finding ways to use those trends in your favor. For example, if you see people following the latest political scandal, you can write about the effect this scandal is having on their lives. If you notice that people listen to music they haven’t listened to in years, you can write about why they decided to listen to it now.
Step Two: Research Topics
Next, you need to research topics that interest you. You can do this online with search engines like Google or Yahoo!. Or, you can visit a local library and check out books and magazines that cover similar topics. While you’re doing your research, keep in mind that you want to find trends and issues within the study area. For instance, if you’re studying politics, you want to learn about current events. But, you also want to find out why people feel the way they do.
Step Three: Find the Hook
Now that you have researched a topic, you’re ready to develop a hook — a lead sentence that introduces your article. The best hooks tell readers exactly who, what, when, where, and why. They explain the issue or trend in clear terms.
The next step is to figure out how to make your hook sound even better. A good hook grabs attention immediately. So, think about how you can make yours stand out. Can you add something new? Are there other angles you can use?
Step Four: Write the Body Copy
Now that you’ve got your perfect hook, you’re ready to write your body copy. Keep in mind that most articles consist of three parts: a headline, introduction, and conclusion. The headings should be bolded and easy to read. The introduction tells readers why they should care about your story. And, the conclusion explains what they should do after reading your article. Think of each paragraph as a mini-hook. Make sure everyone is strong enough to hold their own.
Step Five: Edit and Proofread
Once you’ve written your story, proofread it carefully. Look for spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and any missing words. Also, make sure all paragraphs flow smoothly and don’t overlap. Finally, go through the entire piece from beginning to end. Is everything working? Does it seem complete?
Step Six: Submit Press Release
It’s time to send your story out! Use a reputable press release submission service to submit your press release to news outlets. Our Premium submission service can submit your press release as well as send it to industry relevant journalists. This will give you the maximum exposure for your news story.
Successful Pitch Examples
Here are some examples of pitches you could use for your own stories.
Story Idea 1: Trending story related to your industry or business.
Story Idea 2: Check the national date calendar online for observances that you can relate to your story.
Story Idea 3: A popular figure who inspired you and what you learned from their life and actions.
How to Write Relevant Pitch Stories
To get started writing your pitch, follow these steps:
1) Choose the right publication. Most companies offer free samples of their publications. Take advantage of this opportunity. Read through several of the publications’ websites to see which ones interest you most.
2) Find a story idea. After deciding on the publication, you want to pitch to, find a story idea. Start by looking over the company’s website. Many publications include blogs or online magazines. You might also check the publication’s Facebook page. See if any recent posts appeal to you.
3) Write your pitch. Start writing your pitch once you’re familiar with the publication’s style. Focus on one idea per paragraph. Each paragraph should contain two sentences. Use subheadlines to break up the text.
4) Send your pitch. Once you feel confident with your pitch, it’s time to send it. Follow the directions provided by the publication. Usually, you can paste your pitch into an email message. However, some publications prefer sending pitches via snail mail. Check before sending anything.
5) Wait for responses. Typically, you can expect to hear back within a week. If no response comes within that timeframe, try again.
6) Revise your pitch. It’s important to continue revising your pitch until you have something satisfying you. Make changes as needed. The more revisions you do, the better quality your pitch will be.
Tips for Writing a Media Pitch
To get the best results when writing pitch stories, follow these tips:
1) Keep it short. When pitching, keep your stories brief. They shouldn’t take longer than 250 words, allowing plenty of room for editing.
2) Stay away from clichés. Avoid using phrases like “I’m passionate about…” or “My passion is…” Instead, focus on what makes your story unique. For example, instead of saying you love music, say, “My family loves listening to my new CD.”
3) Be honest. Tell your readers why they should care about your story. Don’t hide behind jargon. Give them enough information to understand the points.
4) Get specific. While mentioning details such as hobbies and interests helps readers understand who you are, it doesn’t tell them much about your story. Instead, give them specifics. Tell them what you loved about a certain concert or movie. Describe how you dealt with your first job interview.
5) Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Ask yourself how you would react to the story. Would you enjoy reading it? Does it make sense? Are the characters believable? Try to answer these questions honestly.
Effective Email Campaigns
To create and manage an effective campaign designed to send your pitch to a list of journalists, or media contacts, you will need to create an email list.
There are many different types of media and journalist email lists available. Some lists of journalists or media platforms are based on the industry; others are based on geographic location or types of medium. Before choosing a list, think carefully about the type of content you plan to send out and which platform would be ideal for reaching your targeted audience. Successful outreach to journalist campaigns depends on performing research on the type of stories that the journalist has done to give you an idea of the kind of topics of interest. As for magazines or news and media sites, you can view the media kit online, giving you insight into their target audience size, demographics, and topics.
Once you have decided on the right email list, you’ll need to decide where you want to send your pitch. You can choose to target all journalists in one city, select only those based in a particular state or country, or send your pitch to a single individual. Your success rate will depend on the number of people on the list in each case.
After collecting pitches, you’ll need to write your pitch and send it along with any supporting materials you feel appropriate (i.e., samples, photos, videos, a newsworthy press release in your online newsroom). Your chances of success are greatly improved by adding a personal touch in the initial email with your effective media pitch since journalists often get hundreds of pitches weekly.
Once you’ve sent off your pitch, wait. Depending on the publication you’re sending to, you may receive a response within 24 hours or two weeks. You also may get no response at all. Try another approach if you don’t hear back from the journalist after two weeks.
Let Us Manage Your Media Pitch Campaign
Persistence, a good story, and a relevant contact list will lead to quality media coverage and a successful public relations campaign. With practice, your persuasive letter will become second nature, and you’ll find yourself writing them quickly without spending time thinking up ideas.
If you would like our professional press writers and media professionals to craft a media pitch story or press release for you, contact us. We can also manage your entire campaign, ensuring substantial media and press coverage from relevant sources.