5 Mastermind Resources to Optimize Your Pitching and Media Outreach Strategy

When you’re pitching bloggers and the media to tell a story about your company, you have a split second to make an impact. The person receiving your email is likely overloaded with requests just like yours. Even if you have a compelling subject line and value proposition, how do you stay memorable enough to inspire action?

The key is to tell your best story possible. Given that you have very little wiggle-room to write compelling copy and capture your reader’s attention, you need to make every interaction count.

Here’s a quick list of five resources to help you do just that—write better pitches with less effort, in less time.

1. 50 Incredibly Helpful Tips for Pitching the Press

Source: BitesizePR

bitesizepr 1This SaaS company compiled a list of 50 bite-size PR lessons learned. Read this guide if you’re looking for a quick refresher on the basics of what makes a great pitch. Some highlights that marketers often forget:

  • Provide data. Whenever possible, quantify the impact and importance of your story. Share anecdotal data from your own company, or curate industry data from reputable sources. Sidebar: Need some guidance? Check out this guide to creating a media-worthy data story here.  
  • Offer an angle. Keep in mind that journalists, bloggers, and writers have jam-packed schedules. One way to stand out is to do the heavy lifting: Come prepared with helpful suggestions for writing a compelling story. Put yourself in your pitch recipient’s shoes. What will make his or her job easier? Or harder?
  • Don’t follow-up excessively. It may sound counterintuitive, but if you follow up too aggressively, you may end up scaring away your media contacts. In a world where everyone feels bombarded, feel free to interpret a non-response as a “no.” Consider following up just once—don’t fall into the endless cycle of chasing dead ends.


2. How to Pitch Journalists: Pro Tips from a BuzzFeed Contributor

Source: Distilled

distilled 2The world of digital communications is changing in a big way—it’s moving so quickly that your “news” could quickly become obsolete. So how can a marketer short on time and resources stay ahead of the curve?

In this guide from 2013, BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Broderick shares his best tips for pitching stories to the right outlets. Here are some highlights from the recap:

  • Keep it short but human too. Brevity will serve marketers well when reaching out to reporters. At the same time, you’ll want to remember that you’re writing to an actual human being on the other side of the computer screen. Strike the right balance.
  • Stir up emotion. Write a pitch that makes journalists care. Speak to an issue that you know he or she cares about. Explain why your perspective is worth surfacing.
  • Treat the internet like a giant cocktail party. Want to get noticed? Imagine that you’re at a party in real-time. You wouldn’t just start pitching your company and product, would you? The key is to listen first. Feel out your surroundings. Start a conversation that matters.


3. 5 Things a Publicist Knows to Be True About Growing Your Brand

Source: Onboardly

onboardly 3The author of this blog post, Crystal Richard, is one of the smartest minds in startup PR today. What’s interesting is that she didn’t come from a marketing background: she was a counselor with a background in psychology. Many of the techniques that she has learned were self-developed. In this blog post, she shares the best lessons that she’s learned from half a decade in startup PR. Here are the lessons that she wants her readers to take away:

  • Success isn’t going to happen overnight. Just like any other marketing strategy, you’ll want to brace yourself for a period of testing, learning, iterating, and optimizing.
  • Don’t undervalue the power of patience. It often takes time for a story to see the light of day. That’s why you’ll want to give your PR strategy the space to fully come to fruition. Focus on building relationships with journalists. Strive to listen to your market.
  • Prioritize relationship-building above pitching. All it takes is a few minutes each day, according to Richard, who devotes 15-30 minutes curating, sharing, and tagging her relationships in content each day.
  • Be humble. Let your story, value proposition, and product speak for themselves. As awesome as you and your company might be, nobody likes to deal with someone who brags.


4. How to Pitch to Journalists: Expert Tips from TechCrunch, NYT, and More

Source: BuzzSumo

buzzsumo 4The brutal truth, as you’re likely aware already, is that journalists receive hundreds of pitches each day. So what does it take to ensure that your story will be well-received? To answer this question, the BuzzSumo team interviewed known journalists from publications like TechCrunch, Mashable, NYTimes, and Fast Company. Here’s a summary of their best tips:

  • Watch out for buzzwords and lack of clarity in your subject lines and email body content.
  • Take the time to get to know the journalist/blogger and his or her beat.
  • In addition to knowing the beats of the journalist who you’re pitching, try to understand what he or she cares about on a personal level.
  • Coordinate efforts with the rest of your team, so multiple people from the same company aren’t bombarding the person you’re trying to reach.


5. How to Use Cold Email to Get Inside Any Organization

Source: Salesfolk

Salesfolk 5Let’s say that you’re pitching a complete stranger who you’ve never met. What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? These questions can leave any publicist’s mind spinning, even if you’re experienced.

In this blog post, Salesfolk’s founder Heather Morgan provides a refresher on the basics of cold email. Here are some of her battle-tested strategic tips, across tens of thousands of emails, in a nutshell.

  • Take the time upfront to build a fine-tuned list.
  • Offer tangible evidence to support your case, with examples of real results when possible.
  • Have a clear set of “next steps” for your recipient to follow.
  • Provide a clear incentive for your respondents to take action.


Final Thoughts

It’s a tough, tough world out there for publicists and marketers. But if you’re smart, you won’t let the soul-crushing competition crush you. You’ll figure out a way to outsmart the noise–you’ll even use it to your advantage. Focus on building deeper relationships and telling deeper relationships. Minimalism is the new strategic advantage in PR.