“Don’t be irrelevant, poorly written, too lengthy, boring and annoying.
PR people, please understand who you are pitching, sum up your thoughts in less than four sentences, use spell check, entertain me, and ditch the buzz words if you want your emails to stay out of the trash can.”
~ Erica Swallow, Mashable
Erica’s quote is wonderful and something ALL of us should take to heart.
Before You Hit Send On That Media Pitch…
Sometimes, for those of us who are detail-oriented and process-addicted, checklists can be useful. So I thought I’d throw together a quick one that can be taped up in a cubical and glanced over before hitting send on a pitch… Just to make sure we are following best practices, even when our day is insanely busy.
Here it is – feel free to add to it.
The 13-Point Checklist
❏ I checked for the ability to manually post my article (no pitch needed)
❏ I looked for (and read!) writer’s guidelines and/or pitch suggestions
❏ I am succinct – my pitch is four sentences or shorter and gets to the point quickly
❏ My pitch is relevant to the publication and its audience
❏ My pitch is authentic, not overly familiar or fake
❏ My pitch is about what they want, not what I want
❏ My pitch is honest – I did not lie to make it seem more relevant
❏ Spelling and grammar are meticulous
❏ I verified that I am using the correct contact for my topic
❏ I was transparent about the article source (disclosure: on behalf of my client, freelance writer, etc.)
❏ My pitch is about giving fantastic content that fits their readers, not about link building
❏ The topic is creative and unique
❏ If appropriate, I offered an exclusive
That’s it – a list of best practices that isn’t too long! Let me know if it helps.