Building solid relationships with the press is the golden ticket to getting that story published. Here are few tips to help you become a trusted member of the media:
Be Mindful of Language Blunders
Spelling counts, as does grammar and professionalism. You’re not sending a text to your best friend, your kid or your mom. One of the biggest pet peeves of journalists is misspellings, text abbreviations (“LMK” in lieu of “Let me know,” for example) and incorrect grammar.
These blunders spell laziness in the mind of a journalist. Take the time to run a spell check; use Grammarly, on online tool that essentially proofreads your copy and alerts you to errors; and read your e-mail, press release or document out loud to ensure that it’s properly structured and flows with ease.
Don’t Pitch the Wrong journalist
You’ve crafted a thoughtfully researched, compelling, error-free pitch and you’re anxious to see the fruits of your labor in print or on a website or blog with a robust, high-traffic readership.
And then you send it off to a journalist who doesn’t write—and will never write—about the topic at hand. It’s imperative to do your research, and that means reading a journalist’s work before you press the “send” button or pick up the phone.
There’s nothing that journalists hate more than receiving useless information. If you’re going to pitch a writer, make sure it’s someone who covers the relevant subject matter.
More important: Make sure your pitch is newsworthy. Another tip: read mastheads of magazines, newspapers and digital sites to determine the beat of their writers.
Avoid Pitching Stories on Weekends
Unless you know for a fact that the reporter is a weekend writer or editor, avoid sending communication on Saturday and Sunday.
Journalists, like the rest of us, have lives, and it’s important to respect their time off the clock. Weekend pitching has other pitfalls: If you send an-mail on a Saturday, and it’s read, the journalist may well have forgotten it by Monday morning. By then, it’s often buried beneath a deluge of other pitches. Every reporter and publication has different deadlines, but according to a Business Wire Media Blueprint survey of more than 600 members of the media, Tuesday morning is typically the best time to pitch a story.