PR Pitching 101

If you are a public relations professional, then you already know the most important aspect of the job is the ability to pitch and place a story. Many public relations professionals will tell you the key to pitching is relationship-building or storytelling i.e., the way you wordsmith the pitch to create interest.

Public Relations Society of America – Los Angeles hosted its monthly “At Breakfast With…” event with a panel of journalists from high-profile Los Angeles news outlets to discuss what they are really looking for in a pitch. Below are some highlights from the panel:

  • Get to know the journalist – Take them out for coffee, get to know what beats they cover and, of course, read their articles. Journalists are more inclined to publish your release if they can put a face to an email address.
  • Email is the best way to reach a journalist – Always send a release or pitch via email, with a follow-up call after.
    • Keep press releases short – One to two paragraphs.
    • Never include in your pitch that another news outlet is running the same story.
  • Exclusivity is key – When able to, tailor your pitch to only one news outlet to make them feel special. Journalists will be more inclined to publish when it’s personalized, rather than part of a mass email.

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