I remember when I first started doing my own PR... I had NO idea what I was doing. I feel like I Googled everything I could about the subject and would read to do one thing, then in the next article, they'd be telling e to do the complete opposite. Ugh, it was so confusing. Who do I listen to? What do I do?
So I decided to write today's post off of my own experiences. No hearsay here... these are all strategies I learned from actually putting in the work. I'm sharing 7 ways to master the pitch (getting a big fat YES when doing your own PR). 7 things I learned along the way that got me from 100 no's (or not hearing back at all), to more yeses than I could've ever imagined.
Want to get even more press? Jump on my FREE email course on how to get press yo! Uhhh... it's free and has a TON of freaking information to help you start getting media attention. Click HERE, it's a no brainer babe.
Alright, so you're ready to do your own PR and start getting some media attention for your brand and product. Holler! Press is one of y favorite marketing strategies for gaining brand awareness FAST.
Whether you just opened an Etsy shop, Shopify shop, Big Cartel site, etc. or.... you've been open for a few years, it doesn't matter. Press is a game changer for anyone. And it's never too soon, or too late to get started.
So let's jump into it eh? Follow these 7 ways to master your pitch when doing your own PR, and you're sure to look like a pro.
1. Email Your Pitch
Okay, so this one may sound like a no brainer. But really, email is the BEST way to email your pitch.
I've had a few clients that started off doing their own PR by sending samples to the magazine headquarters without ANY prior contact before then. This is an example of what NOT to do.
Okay, they might have had an address for the publication, but who did they address it to? Did it even get to the right department? Even if it did get to the right department, whoever opened it probably had NO idea what it was sent for and completely disregarded the package.
Don't do this... mmmmkay? It's just not polite and sort of weird.
81 percent of publishers prefer to get your pitch via email... over phone, social media or cold physical pitches.
Even if you happen to meet an editor face to face. I'd hold off on pitching them right away, it could catch them off guard. Instead, politely introduce yourself, hand them a business card and let them know you'll be emailing them within the next few days.
This way they'll actually know who you are when they get the email (because they've been waiting for it). And they'll be able to sit down and read through your entire pitch while giving it their full attention.
Got it? Email is best.
2. Be Nice
Again, a no brainer... right? You'd be surprised by how many people forget to simply say "hello" or personalize it a bit.
I know, it's exciting of the possibility of getting featured in magazines, blogs and TV shows... I get it. But try not to make it all about you and your amazing products.
Remember that this editor is an actual person.
If you were to bump into them in real life, you wouldn't just walk right up to them and start pitching away without introducing them, asking how they are, then leading into your pitch, right?
Email is no different. Have some manners. Make them feel like they're speaking to a real live person. Trust me, your email will stand out and definitely get them excited to read your pitch.
I always end my emails with something like "I hope you have a great rest of the week". Adding a personal, kind gesture always seems to help me out a bit :)
3. Consider the Timing
According to Harvard Business Review, 69% of writers want to receive your pitch in the morning, 22% want to be pitched in the afternoon and only 9% want to be pitched in the afternoon.
I've also found that most writers like to get your pitch at the start of a week (Monday - Wednesday). This gives them time to work on a story they may already be working on AND if they have any questions, they have plenty of time to get them taken care of early on.
Now, just because you've read these numbers, I don't want you to get hung up on sending a pitch on the perfect day of the week, at the perfect time of the day. If you've got a pitch, freaking send it... don't wait!
But, if you set aside a certain time of the week to work on press, it may be a good idea to schedule that time accordingly, it couldn't hurt!
4. Master the Subject Line
This one is major. I cannot stress it enough. Most people create the subject line as an afterthought to their pitch. Remember, these guys have hundreds of emails in their inbox and your subject line is your first impression. They'll read your subject line and either click open your email to read the rest... or they'll skip right over it and/or delete it.
I like to think of the subject lines as the troll on the bridge. You know, the big ugly troll that asks for either a gift or the magic word before letting you cross to the other side?
You're probably laughing right now... but it's SO true.
So, take note of the following tips I've found on writing the perfect subject line that get's you to the other side:
- Use their name (using their name in a subject line gets their attention right away)
- Make it short & to the point (don't try being clever here. It's best to let them know EXACTLY what's in the email before opening it)
- Don't do the bait and switch (there's nothing more frustrating than reading a subject line, and opening the email just to find out that it had NOTHING to do with your subject line. Don't do it, be specific)
- Make it a headliner (something like "Pitch: Kids Unisex Brand" will NOT get their attention. Instead, write something that sounds like it could be the cover story to their magazine. Something like "7 Unisex Children's Brands that are Making Waves", is a much better option)
- Keep it short (shorter subject lines are better. Keep it between 6-10 words MAX)
- Do you have a past relationship? (if so, reference it in the subject line. They'll be more likely to open and read your pitch if you mention your past relationship)
5. Know the Lead Times
Magazines work about 3-6 months in advance. It's important to KNOW this.
If you have a new product you'd like to create some buzz around that's coming out in September, you'll want to start pitching it in March or April to coincide with the stories editors are working on for the September issue.
If you wait until the month before, sorry but you're too late. And there's nothing more frustrating to an editor than getting pitched for stories and/or issues that have already been finalized for months.
Don't look like a newbie by making this mistake. Make sure you're staying ahead of the game and are working far enough in advance that you actually have a chance to get your product featured.
So if you're dying to get some press for your new Valentine's Day necklace, be sure to start pitching it in September/October.
6. Pitch the RIGHT person
It's incredibly important to make sure that you're pitching the right person, anytime you're sending a pitch.
Most editors cover a specific niche, from beauty to accessories down to specific columns. So be sure that the person you're pitching covers the actual product you're pitching. I don't know how many clients pitch their latest T-Shirt to the beauty editor at magazines. This is a big no-no, and you'll NEVER get a reply.
To make sure this particular person covers your product, checkout their most recent articles before reaching out. Be sure that their niche is ideal for your products or brand.
If you're not sure who to contact, go snatch a copy of their most recent issue and flip through the pages. Research which editors are covering what. If you still aren't sure.
Send a quick one liner to the person you do have contact information for, quickly asking them who would be the best person to contact for this particular product.
The last thing you want is to look like you have NO idea what you're doing... or that you're pitching any and everyone you can just to get some darn press. This will leave a bad taste in their mouth.
7. Know the Writer
This last tip may be last, but it's definitely not least. It's actually one of the MOST important.
It's important for the writer to know that you've specifically targeted THEM for this particular pitch. That you've done your research and actually know their work.
Read their latest few articles of work and be sure to reference it in your email. Letting them know what you liked or didn't like about it. How you connected with it and thank them for writing it.
This let's them know that you know who they are, what they write about and who their audience is. Basically, that you thought about whether this is a good fit for both you AND them, before pitching.
Another good trick I like to use is take note of the language they use, writing style and tone they set. When emailing them, be sure to match your pitch to those cues.
Just by reading the email, she'll recognize that you're probably a good fit for her audience.
Follow these 7 tips and you're sure to be a step ahead of the game. Click HERE to read a post all about how getting press has affected my business.