Congratulations to PR software company Muck Rack — who just published brilliantly insightful research showing how 2000 journalists want to be pitched.
Why is this relevant to your business/brand?
Because as stated on our homepage, we want to become the most helpful PR agency in the world, so when esteemed research echoes our library of unmissable FREE communications tips, it should reassure you that our advice is, at the very least, more impressive than the last freebie you enjoyed.
(smug, witchlike cackle)
So, of the many findings Muck Rack unearthed in their research, here are the THREE we consider non-negotiable when emailing journalists to enlighten, educate or entertain them with your business news.
1: 92% OF JOURNALISTS PREFER A PERSONALISED EMAIL
It's baffling how frequently businesses ignore this... utter lunacy. Consider this scenario:
You're sitting at your favourite table in your favourite restaurant with your favourite people. You're sipping great wine and eating sensational food. Without invitation, an unknown man approaches. He smiles, leans in and calls you by your first name. Clearly aware of who you are, he congratulates you on that professional piece of work you delivered last week... you know, the piece of work you're still rather proud of.
Now imagine the exact same scenario, but this time, the stranger approaches, leans in and gushes over the professional piece of work he delivered last Tuesday.
One of these 'intruders' made you feel valuable, the other made you feel violated.
With no exceptions, in life, when we feel valued we simultaneously feel good, and when we feel good, guess what... our inclination to give an unsolicited email from a complete stranger the time of day increases.
If you want influential journalists and media publishers to give your unsolicited email the time of day, use our ego delay technique — not only is it FREE, it'll transform your pitch fortunes overnight, too.
2: 39% OF JOURNALISTS RECEIVE MORE THAN SIX PITCHES PER DAY
This is a noteworthy finding because it shows you that:
3: IN 23% OF CASES, PITCHES ACCOUNT FOR OVER HALF OF A JOURNALIST'S OUTPUT
Let's finish with the most encouraging finding of all. We love this stat! Why? Because it shows you how open media publishers are to hearing from you.
Understand, just because Journalists aren't sitting around waiting to hear from you, it doesn't mean they're not receptive to hearing from you, in fact, the exact opposite is true — the very function of their job relies on hearing from you, as long as what you're telling them is newsworthy, timely, culturally relevant, educational, surprising, inspiring, provocative or entertaining.
Okay, fine, so what if your news story ticks one of the above boxes, how do you find the appropriate journalist to pitch? Well, given our quest to become the most helpful PR agency in the world, we recently showed you how to find influential people writing about businesses like yours in under 60-seconds.
In my experience, there are two classic ways businesses/brands misunderstand their place in the world — one is cute and endearing, the other is mindless and arrogant. Avoid both.
CUTE & ENDEARING
Many businesses are under the false impression that when an influential website, TV show, newspaper, magazine, radio show or podcast features their business, the outlet in question is doing their business a favour. Wrong. The exchange is mutually beneficial — you're receiving valuable coverage, and in return, if you've diligently followed our pitch tips, the media outlet receives a news story that gratifies their audience.
As shown in POINT 3 above, media publishers want to hear from you, they're willing to hear from you, they need to hear from you... so don't be bashful, pitch them.
MINDLESS & ARROGANT
Sure, pitch them, but pitch like an empathetic, well-researched human not an intrusive, self-serving clown. Personalise your pitch. Value the journalist. Prioritise their needs above your own.
I'll leave you with 3 pertinent quotes from acclaimed writer/lecturer Dale Carnegie — author of 'How to win friends and influence people':
"The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want."
"A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."
"The rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage."