Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Media & Influencers

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Media & Influencers

May 2, 2017 by Holly Rollins

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When it comes to PR Outreach, you’ve got to have a strategy before you make your pitch. You may ask, “What is PR Outreach?” It is today’s practice of pitching ideas, stories and data to media outlets to score either a story or post which many times should contain a backlink (a follow link back to your site). Media outlets and influencers are flooded with these requests every day and if you want to stand out, it’s crucial that you follow these 10 do’s and don’ts:

1. Don’t Overdo Outreach

Be relevant with your outreach because more pitches does not necessarily mean more results. Media outlets and influencers say they consistently receive irrelevant pitches, and they’re much more likely to give you what you need if you show you value their time and capabilities by serving up thoughtful, intelligent and targeted content/pitches.

2. Don’t Spam the Media

After you’ve sent your pitch it’s fine to follow up if you haven’t heard back after a week. But influencers and media outlets aren’t likely to give you a positive response when you flood their inbox with reminders.

3. Don’t Cold Call

If you happen to discover your contact’s phone number, don’t use it unless you have permission. Media personnel and influencers say that receiving unsolicited calls during the day is a distraction and considered very intrusive. It’s best to wait and see if your contact offers up a time to chat on the phone after you’ve emailed.

4. Don’t Misspell Names

Nothing says you haven’t done your research or spent time looking at a contact’s work than misspelling his or her name. Make sure you check and double check your facts before you try to make a connection with a potential resource.

5. Limit Your Focus

Pitching to major media outlets and reporters isn’t always in your best interest. They have a lot going on and aren’t likely to get back to you.

“My main focus when link building and doing outreach, is on industry-specific blogs that need high-quality content from experts,” explains 10x PR Outreach Specialist Jessica Thiefels.

6. Do Get to the Point

It’s always best to get right to the point with your pitch. Give your contact the information they need and nothing more. Enough said.

7. Do Build A Relationship

Relationship-building is key for PR outreach. Sometimes the first form of communication with a contact can be via a comment or compliment on the their social media channel(s). Retweeting their content when relevant is also a good tactic.

8. Do Choose Your Influencer Wisely

Trying to reach a massive amount of influencers isn’t always in your best interest and could be a waste of your time. There are different tools for pinpointing and tracking the right influencers for your business –from Cision and Traackr to Hootsuite, to name only a few.

9. Do Personalize Your Pitch

No one likes to receive generic, mass emails. You’re more likely to catch your contact’s eye if you come across as personal and endearing. Mention something you have in common or loved about their most recent publication, but keep it short and sweet.

10. Do Consider Timing  

Different media outlets require different lead times, so make sure you do your research before you send your pitch. If your story is outdated, your source probably won’t consider it.