One thing I always tell my PR students is: You don’t have to write a press release to get media exposure.
A media pitch is much easier to prepare than a press release and, done right, it can get you that media interview or feature.
A media pitch is simply a brief letter you send to a reporter to get them interested to do a story on you. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to write one of the simplest media pitches, the product-oriented media pitch.
This type of media pitch can be three to five paragraphs long. I’ll break down each part of the media pitch to you and end with a sample media pitch letter that follows this template.
Go for a quirky headline. One that makes the reader go, “Huh? What could this be?” Strive to write a headline that arouses curiosity.
Don’t mention the company name yet in the headline. If your company isn’t well known, then you’re wasting prime space by mentioning it in your headline. It’s not going to mean anything to the editor.
If you’re having trouble coming up with an interesting headline, skip that first and write it last. This can be the most difficult part of the media pitch to write. However, don’t let this stop you from completing and sending out your media pitch!
2. First Paragraph
Get to the point and pitch your company or product. Summarize why the editor’s audience would be interested in your offering.
3. Second Paragraph
In the second and third paragraphs, address the who, what, where, why and how of your business. What do you do and for whom? How do you deliver your product or service, and at what price? Who’s the best user of your product or service? How can they access it?
3. Third Paragraph
This is a good place to put a testimonial. Choose the best one you have to demonstrate how your product or service benefits your customers. The more details you can give about the source of the testimonial, the better. You don’t want the editors to doubt that your testimonial is genuine.
4. Fourth Paragraph
Make an offer. In the media pitch sample below, I offered to send a sample of the product. For small items, you can give your product samples away. For higher-ticket items, it’s okay to ask for them in return or send a photo that they can publish with their story. Many magazines look at samples then send them back. In that case, you can say you’re willing to send a product for review for 30 days.
5. Final Paragraph
End with a call to action. In the sample media pitch below, the call to action was to call the contact person. Make sure you include your name, email address, and telephone number.
In a few short paragraphs, you can provide the editor all the information he or she needs to decide whether you’re a good subject for their publication.
Here’s a sample media pitch letter following this formula:
I think your readers would appreciate our new website called www.monthlysocks.com.
We deliver a brand new pair of cushy men’s dress socks every month by mail – just like a magazine subscription. For about $6 a month including shipping anywhere in Canada and the US, subscribers have the benefit of having at least one matched pair of socks in their drawer, eliminating the panic of having to buy them at the airport drugstore.
Jude, a customer, says: “I thought the idea of getting socks in the mail was funny, whimsical, and practical. How many gifts can you say that about? I got a subscription for my husband who, like most of us, always intends to buy new socks but just never gets around to it. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out, the shoes come off, and there are his toes, a glowing white beacon of embarrassment. My husband was a little skeptical about this service-until the first pair of socks arrived. They’re very well made, soft, and the padding on the bottom feels great. I know because I’ve ‘borrowed’ them several times, as has my daughter.”
I would be happy to send you a sample so you can credibly prove to your readers that this is in fact a great product and service.
I appreciate your time and consideration for what www.monthlysocks.com has to offer. If you’re interested in learning more, please email Elena Verlee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 123-4567-890.
If you would like more step-by-step guidance on how to get free media coverage and publicity for your business — without ever having to write a single press release — I invite you to look at “How to Do Your Own PR: A Guide for Small Businesses.” It’s a two-hour teleclass where you’ll learn a doable and effective system for getting PR for your small biz.
Image from Yuri Arcurs Website
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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