Ashley Carlisle

The Value of a PR Pitch According to 1,300 Publishers

By: Ashley Carlisle | December 29, 2016 | 
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The Value of a PR Pitch According to 1,300 PublishersAs PR professionals, nurturing intricate relationship with journalists is essential.

Media has the potential to reach both broad and niche audiences who often engage and share content within their circle.

The authority of publications and credibility of influencers sharing your content is invaluable for generating top-of-the-funnel brand awareness (among other benefits).

But it can be difficult for your brand to get the attention of a top-tier publication.

Creating stellar content is only half the battle.

Media and influencer outreach is a crucial aspect in making sure your brand and its content get to the right audience.

Considering that top-tier publishers receive hundreds of pitches per week, and writers and editors typically write one story—at most—per day, it’s important to stand out among the sea of mediocre, impersonal, and error-ridden emails.

We’re all constantly trying to improve media relationships and processes, so let’s demystify some burning questions concerning the value of your PR pitch, and determine how to make it more valuable.

By surveying 1,300 writers, editors, reporters, and contributors at countless publications across all beats and authorities, we are able to offer some insight.

Value Varies by Authority and Beat

Authority

Lower-tier sites are more likely to find your PR pitch valuable or even very valuable.

However, nearly 80 percent of top-tier publishers find at least some value in a PR pitch.

Being straightforward and highlighting the value of your content in the pitch will help you stay on the top end of this spectrum.

How valuable are pitches to publishers?

Beat

A writer’s individual beat will influence the likelihood a PR pitch is even read.

We found food, entertainment, and lifestyle writers are most likely to always read a PR pitch.

But, you may not have such luck with business and automotive writers because nearly 30 percent rarely read pitches.

Overall, 45 percent of publishers mostly read pitches, while only two percent admitted they never read them.

How often do publishers read pitches?How to Increase the Value of Your PR Pitch

The good news is there’s some value to your PR pitch across all beats and authorities, and there’s a good chance they will read it.

And there are ways to add value to pitches.

Do: Research the Best Fit Contact

Sending pitches irrelevant to a writer’s beat is the top reason you don’t hear back from the publication.

Four-out-of-five publishers revealed this as their top grievance, so it’s vital to do research before even drafting an email.

This is often the most time-consuming step.

When considering a publication, make sure they publish third-party content and post frequently.

Then check to see which editor or writer covers topics similar to your content.

Becoming familiar with a potential contact’s writing will help tremendously.

This ensures the publication is the best fit for your content, and enables you to establish a personal connection in your pitch.

Don’t: Be Boring or Careless

Two other common reasons for declining pitches are boring emails and careless errors.

Go above and beyond a generic, email template by personalizing each pitch.

Editors and writers will notice and appreciate it.

Start with a personal connection in the introduction.

This helps prove you’ve actually researched this writer, whether it’s commenting on a recent article or mentioning something you both have in common.

Include the most compelling facts in the body of the pitch, and mention why it’s newsworthy and relevant to their audience.

To make a great first impression, be sure to spend time crafting a great subject line that invites them to open your email.

It goes without saying you should triple check your grammar and spelling before clicking send.

Do: Offer In-Demand Content

Photos and mixed media content are the most commonly published formats.

However, among writers, infographics and video are becoming the highest in-demand content types.

There has been a decline in the demand for more traditional forms of content such as news releases.

Beyond content format, other factors which influence the promotional viability of your content are data source, relevance, and emotional appeal.

This the promotional trifecta.

Content based on original data is relevant to a broad audience, having the element of surprise, or emotional factor.

Don’t: Be Overly Promotional

The final reason pitches are commonly declined is because they’re seen as overly promotional.

This type of pitch fails to highlight any value to the publisher, or its readers.

While the content should clearly be related to the publication, it should also bring value to the reader.

Be certain to include the most interesting and relevant information in your PR pitch.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll not only earn great media coverage, but also create relationships with influential people.

image credit: pixabay

About Ashley Carlisle


Ashley Carlisle is a Brand Relationship Strategist at Fractl, a digital marketing agency specializing in data-driven content campaigns. She works alongside a team of creative strategists producing innovative studies on the latest industry trends. When she’s not at the agency, you can find her in the water, on a trail, or near a beach.

  • Great findings and tips, Ashley. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • PaulJKrupin

    All media are best viewed as publishers (or producers) who make their money from just two income streams, subscriptions or advertising. Both these are dependent on the number of people willing to pay for their content. So the key to working with them successfully is to 1. give them something that lots of people in their audience will want to read (or watch or listen to). 2. make sure it has real and even significant value to them; and 3. doesn’t require the media to spend money to publish or create and produce. So pitches can be used to interest media, but usually not deliver a final product, since everyone requires something unique. A good pitch usually can create lots of work for the author or publicist who assists, and what you want is feature stories and interviews. And the content has to come from the expert who has the knowledge and the credentials to speak authoritatively. I view the pitching process as karma in action. When you target the right people and offer them the right information, the right people always respond. The quality and quantity of the media who respond is also totally dependent on the quality of the insights or the value of the entertainment you offer. It’s MIMO – Magic In Magic Out.

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