From Of Is and By: How to be a better writer overnight…#humberpr, #mediarelations
Writing pitch letters and news releases are often considered a chore but are a necessity in media relations. They show the journalist what the story might look like, even though it’s cast in PR terms. Few understand, however, that the pitch letter and the news release are interconnected and must reinforce each other. The pitch letter is the door opener, and the news release contains the news. Here are five tips for maximizing pitch letters.
- The subject line is like a headline. As with news releases, make it punchy and memorable. It might be the only item read about the story. Don’t just write one; create one and make it work. Especially if you are requesting attendance at a press event, give those writers or editors a really good reason to get up out of their chairs and get out of the office to attend your event.
2. In the first paragraph tell journalists why the story is incredibly compelling and what exactly what you want them to do. Come to an event, schedule an interview, review a product, with time and place it will occur. It’s one of the most concise pieces of writing to be prepared. It also must comply with news basics, especially timeliness, roses in summer, earmuffs in winter.
3. Use a first name with journalists. Not Mr. or Ms. Too formal, A first name elevates the writer to their level, presenting you as a peer who is providing legitimate information they need to do their job. Personalize the rest of the story so the recipients feel it’s aimed at them, not some giant horde.
4.Use the second paragraph to illuminate the story. What are the other details of the event or product that adds to its newsworthiness?
5. The third paragraph is the what else that either provides an additional angle. Who else will be there? What else might provide a reason to attend? In the last paragraph, set out the terms and conditions, such as is the invite transferable. If with a celebrity, is security involved?
And then say when you will call to follow up and do it!