How to Make the Perfect Pitch and Land Coverage for Your Client

In the public relations industry, the pitch is key in receiving coverage for a client. Relationships with reporters and editors play a paramount role in securing media attention but more importantly, one must understand the reporter’s audience.

The most successful pitches are those that are tailored to the reporter and provide useful and interesting information — a good story. Stay away from generic information and always have a hook. Remember that you are talking to a person and the communication should be treated as such.

In addition to being authentic in a pitch, also keep it short and to the point.

Do Your Research

Before crafting an email to a reporter or editor, you must have an understanding of the audience you are trying to reach. By learning the interests and background information of your audience, you can determine which media outlet will be most effective in reaching that group. 

With countless magazines, websites, newspapers, blogs, podcasts and shows in the market, plus more popping up all the time, you have plenty of outlets to choose from, some of which might be specifically targeting your desired audience. 

After selecting the outlet you want to pitch, the next step is deciding which reporter or editor within that organization you need to reach out to. Most reporters cover a specific area or beat. Familiarize yourself with the previous work of different journalists to determine who would be most interested in covering that story. 

For example, if your client is a hospital, a sports editor or education reporter probably won’t be of much help. Instead, search for past articles or stories in the healthcare field. Chances are you’ll find a writer or newsperson who would be interested in delivering your message. 

Writing the Pitch

Now that you have determined the journalist who would be most interested in telling your client’s story, you are ready to craft the pitch. However, this step takes more than just sitting down and writing the first thing that pops into your head. You should be creative but still maintain professionalism. Get to the point quickly, but be clear with what you are trying to accomplish. 

When using email to pitch to the media, the subject line is crucial. This is your first impression and often will be the reason why the reporter elects to read your message or not. Avoid using generic subject lines such as “story idea” as these will almost assuredly be immediately sent to the trash . Try to put yourself in the reporter’s shoes, and craft your subject line similar to the way they might write the headline for the story. 

After writing an attention-grabbing subject line, address the journalist by name and state your intent. Much like the subject line, try to begin your message with a hook, but avoid overdoing it. Remember, you are writing as a public relations professional not a salesperson. 

Open with the lede of the story you are pitching and continue by providing additional details about why the reporter should consider covering it. Explain how the story would be appealing to that outlet’s readers, listeners or followers. With specific details needed to craft an effective pitch, it’s important to note that these should be unique for each recipient. Avoid using a template or reusing pitches for different stories as most media members can sense the lack of authenticity. 

As you conclude your pitch, include a date if the story is time sensitive and offer to provide additional information or help if needed. Also, be sure to thank the reporter for their time. Even if they elect not to pursue the story, they will certainly appreciate your sincerity and professionalism. 

Wait and Follow Up

When pitching to the media, do not expect an immediate response. Journalists are very busy and they receive a lot of emails, so it’s entirely possible that yours got lost in the shuffle or was simply overlooked. However, as time goes by, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a nudge to the reporter. 

Depending on when you are hoping for the story to run, do not hesitate to send a follow-up message after a few days or weeks. If you get no response on your follow-up, do not get discouraged. It’s highly unlikely that you will get a story from every pitch you send. Simply move on to another media member or outlet that might be interested in covering the topic. 

As is the case with any form of writing, you’ll get better at crafting pitches the more you do it, and not every pitch will be your best work. It’s important to have a short-term memory: Don’t dwell on your hits or your misses. Whether you successfully secured coverage from your message or got no response, stay confident, follow the same guidelines and you’ll be a media pitching pro in no time. 

McDonald’s

Marketing / Communications

We help one of the world’s best brands increase sales and guest counts through reputation management and content marketing that successfully maximizes paid media efforts.
 

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring a Media Relations Specialist and Fall PR Intern! 

Media Relations Specialist

The media relations specialist should possess superb project management and organizational skills, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.

To ensure success, media relations specialists should demonstrate fantastic time management, great creativity with a keen interest in creating and implementing cost-efficient and effective media campaigns, as well as effectively analyze the impact of campaigns on the company’s bottom line.

By assisting the team in the execution of client activities and learning the basics of services offered across all areas of the agency, the media relations specialist will play a crucial role in supporting client service teams. 

Main Responsibilities

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Develop content for broadcast, print and online distribution channels to include press releases, media advisories, blogs, e-newsletters and website content with limited supervision.
  • Negotiate with media channels to close competitive deals.
  • Serve as the agency’s media liaison and formal spokesperson, and effectively place client messages and spokespeople in target media outlets.
  • Scan the media marketplace to keep up-to-date on the latest media trends.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop.
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. 
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Monitor all campaigns, and report on results.
  • Build long-term relationships with media houses.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.

 

Fall PR Intern

We’re looking for a resourceful go-getter who enjoys fast-paced work in an agency environment and is eager to learn the ins and outs of public relations, media relations, social media management and content marketing.Our team members are expected to complete high-quality work, juggle multiple tasks, keep projects on track, and be accountable for results. The right candidate will be a motivated problem-solver who will thrive in a deadline-driven environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Writing for social media
  • Posting to social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Creating Canva graphics
  • Brainstorming/Researching Ideas
  • Logging media clips
  • Assisting with video production and Facebook lives for clients
  • Building media contact lists
  • Uploading content to content management sites for clients
  • Assist with client events
  • Media Relations outreach
  • Attend internal meetings and potentially take notes for client meetings
  • Assist with office errands and organization
  • Assist with general project management and scheduling

What We Want:

  • Experience with writing/posting to social media sites and using Canva is preferred.
  • Experience with photography and/or video creation or production is a plus.
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Organized and able to prioritize work under pressure
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • You are resourceful.
  • You are humble.
  • You know what needs to be done because it just comes naturally.
  • You are accurate with an attention to detail.
  • You follow instructions.
  • You have a life outside of work that you love and nurture.
  • You love learning new things.
  • You ask questions when appropriate and know how to Google the simple things like your life depends on it!
  • You treat our clients and your team members with respect.
  • You are funny.
  • You are caring.
  • You are a good friend and co-worker.
  • You are creative and think of brilliant ideas in your sleep.
  • You are resourceful. It’s so important that we’re mentioning it again!

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position