What is a media pitch? Simply put, a media pitch is an attempt to get a journalist/editor or media outlet interested in your news so that they decide to cover it.
Almost always, a media pitch is done by email, but it’s also possible to do it via social platforms, telephone, or traditional mail.
Now that the theory is out of the way, it’s time to focus on practice. Below you’ll find:
- Quick tips to media pitch writing
- 7 media pitch examples from PR experts to get you inspired
- Advice on following up
If you’re about to send a media pitch, you might want to give Prowly a try for free. Maximize your chances of getting coverage by finding relevant journalists, gaining access to press release templates, getting contact recommendations with full and up to date contact information based on your press release, and help sending personalized pitches at scale.
Before you write a media pitch
Before you begin: Journalists and editors are flooded with press releases, media pitches, and various other demands on their time and attention.
Based on research from Fractl, 46.5% of journalists receive at least 11 media pitches per day, while 28.64% receive over 26 pitches per day.
Knowing what to include in your media pitch—and what to leave out—will greatly improve your chances of getting a reply. Keep in mind, even a single typo in a cold pitch is enough to turn possibility into disaster.
For more in depth guides on how to write a PR pitch and press releases, with story ideas, email templates, and how to write a solid call to action, you can check our article →
1. Make sure your story is newsworthy
It’s all in the subject line. If you want to get someone to cover your story, it’s worth asking yourself these two questions before you even think about pitching the media outlet:
- Is my news actually newsworthy?
- Is my news presented in an exciting way that will get people interested?
The best pitch emails answer these questions with a resounding, “yes!” If not, it might be worth waiting until you have something that is actually newsworthy.
Otherwise, or you could make a bad first impression with the media contacts you send your press release to.
What makes a newsworthy story? According to socialmediasydney.net.au, you should consider the following:
- Is the story new and current?
- Does it feature an element of prominence?
- Does it evoke an emotional response?
- Will your story affect or have an impact on certain people?
- Is your story relevant to the area/publication you are pitching it to?
Amber Mac, entrepreneur, and the bestselling author sums this up perfectly:
The fact that your company exists or your CEO will be in town does not make a story.
2. Make sure you’re pitching relevant media contacts
Before writing your media pitch, you should first find relevant media contacts to prepare a media list, which is a list of people that could be interested in covering your story. In addition to journalists, this could include social media personalities on Linkedin, influencers, bloggers, podcast hosts and even other PR Professionals.
In the media, individual journalists have their own specializations (referred to as a “beat”). Instead of sending your pitch to the general email address of a news outlet, it is best to address it to the person most relevant to the subject you’re writing about. In other words: make sure you’re knocking on the right doors before you start knocking.
Example: If you’re a small business or startup that’s launching a new product and you’re reaching out to a magazine like WIRED, Forbes, or the New York Times, you’ll find out that every reporter there has their own specialization, such as drones, cell phones, or cloud computing. In this case, the right thing to do would be to reach out to the person that writes about products like yours, instead of pitching to someone that generally covers technology.
7 media pitch examples from PR experts
Below you will find the best PR pitch examples shared by actual PR experts demonstrating just how to write a pitch to a journalist. Some information has been blanked out for privacy reasons surrounding previous works
The following media pitch letter examples were re-created in Prowly, where subscribers can find relevant media contacts and effectively send email pitches with personalization and analytics to help promote your PR strategy.
Media pitch example #1
Rudi Davis, Chief Operating Officer @ NetPositiveAgency
The first media pitch example is from Rudi, COO of NetPositiveAgency.
Rudi leverages the expertise of his client and offers expert insights on the topic that reporter coverages.
Instead of preposing just one topic, Rudi gives the pitch recipient to choose from three in-depth topics, increasing the chance of success.
Email pitch example #2
Mary Brynn Millburn, Senior Public Relations Coordinator @ Idea Grove
This news story pitch example from Mary Brynn Millburn shows the importance of a good value proposition. Take note how the reporter is offered expert commentary and fresh information from the CEO of the company hoping to get coverage.
PR pitch example #3
Sarah Jenne, PR Specialist @ Idea Grove
In Sarah’s PR pitch email example, she takes advantage of the fact that she’s previously connected with this specific reporter, reminding him/her of their already established relationship.
Media pitch example #4
Ana Casic, responsible for media relations and PR @ TalentLMS
Ana Casic from TalentLMS send us this press release pitch email example on remote work. She started the conversation by mentioning already published articles on the same topic, and offered new & original research (offering value!) that could be used for a new post.
PR pitch example #5
Matthew Zajechowski, Outreach Team Lead and Content Marketing Promotions Specialist @ Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing
Similar to the previous example, Matthew’s media pitching is another example of giving value by offering an original report on a topic that was newsworthy at the time.
The results? Over 250+ unique placements all who’ve linked back to this page for this campaign using this specific pitch.
Email pitch example #6
Corinne McCarthy, SEO & Online PR Specialist @ Web Talent Marketing
Here is a media pitch letter example that earned a placement on CNBC’s website (cnbc.com) for a client of Web Talent Marketing.
The writer we pitched ended up connecting us with a reporter at CNBC. The reporter interviewed our client’s Content Manager. A few weeks later, CNBC published a feature article about the career path we pitched and quoted our client throughout the article.
Corinne added that the key elements of this pitch are:
- Addresses the writer by name twice so he/she knows this is not an automated email.
- Mentions a recent article that relates to the topic you’re pitching.
- Includes a brief description of the angle you’re pitching and why it’s relevant to the publication.
Media pitch example #7
Rachel Nelson, Public Relations & Events Manager at Margaux Agency
The last media pitch example from Rachel Nelson offers value by offering valuable content that could be useful for a new article that’s not only original, but also exclusive.
You can gain access to Prowly’s own media pitch templates for more guidance and inspiration from story pitch examples for journalism down to email subject lines.
💡Advice from a PR pro on how to create a successful media pitch:
Aleksandra Kubicka, PR consultant at Prowly, says:
“To create an effective media pitch, PR managers can transform news into a few different stories and can present it from different angles. This will help to reach a larger target audience. To achieve it we need to be creative and look for unique perspectives of each story.
For example, instead of just presenting a story about a new business as straightforward news, you could also focus on the human story behind the business, such as the background and motivations of its founder. Another angle could be to highlight the success of a local business in gaining recognition in the global market, which would appeal to local media outlets.
By presenting the same news story from multiple angles, you can broaden your potential target group of journalists and reach a wider audience. This approach can also increase the impact and relevance of a story, as different angles can resonate with different people and help to highlight different aspects of a story.
Additionally, by providing journalists with different options for how to cover a story, you increase the chances that they will find an angle that fits their publication’s style and target audience, and thus you’ll be more likely to gain press coverage.”
How to follow up on your media pitch effectively
Even if you did everything correctly, there’s a chance you won’t get a reply. It makes you start wondering:
- Did the journalist get my email?
- Did it get opened or was it lost in the sea of other media pitches?
- Was my pitch so bad that it got posted online for everyone to laugh at?
Just kidding. Journalists are busy people; it could be that they were simply busy and didn’t get to check their inbox yet.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean you should move on just yet.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t email someone more than three times in a row without success. If you subtract the first email, that leaves you with two follow-up attempts for your pitch. Give at least a few days between each email. The same applies for calls, so if you have your journalist’s phone number, it’s important to keep them within this rule of three.
If you’re using a PR outreach tool like Prowly to pitch media contacts, you can view which recipients received, opened and clicked on your email. This lets you easily segment your follow-up message in to groups and tailor your message based on if they’ve opened your email—or not.
When you do follow up, keep in mind the following:
- Be polite. Respect the fact that a journalist may not be interested in your story
- Be concise and to the point. Keeping the above point in mind, politely re-ask if they’re interested or if you can provide any extra details
- Be prepared. If you do get a positive reply make sure you have any extra information they might need or a flexible schedule if they’re like to interview you for more details
Need more guidance? Read: Following up on Your Media Pitch – How to Do It Right →
A media pitch can be crafted in many different ways, with PR experts often having their own preferred method. Nonetheless, the fundamentals of writing a successful pitch remain the same, whether it be how to write a pitch letter for an event or product launch.
Follow the tips and examples in this post and tailor them to your news. With a bit of time and experimentation, you’ll find what works and what doesn’t. Refining your pitching strategy is the first step to getting publications, which lead to backlinks and enhances your overall media coverage.