For a public relations professional, what's better than getting a positive response from members of the media after sending them a pitch? Knowing how to appropriately communicate with the media through email is a skill of paramount importance in professional communications. When mastered, it leads to success for clients and helps foster relationships with influencers over time.
But there is no one-size-fits-all formula for effective email communication with the media. Every pitch is different and so is every journalist, and there is no exact science for timing your pitch to reach a receptive member of the media when he/she is in a good mood.
That's not to say that there aren't ways to give yourself a good shot at landing the coverage you're looking for.
At PR News' upcoming Writing Boot Camp in Chicago, Angie Larsen, senior manager of corporate relations for USANA Health Sciences, Inc., will address the secrets behind crafting emails for the media. Here's a preview of some of the tips for inbox success that Angie will discuss:
- Hit the bullseye—not just the target. Home in on which members of the media you want to target for each specific pitch.
- Use the power of BCC. Every reporter/editor wants to feel like they are getting the scoop, even though they know they aren't. Personalized emails are best, but if you need to send a group email, use the blind copy option. Show respect to your media contacts. And remember that the surest way to shoot yourself in the foot is to email a particular media outlet and address it to a competing outlet. Check and recheck your addresses.
- Head 'em off at the pass. Give the media a subject line that won't allow them to pass on your email. Think unique, concise and informative within the bounds of 4-7 words.
- Forget the fluff. You have about 4 seconds to capture a reporter/editor's attention. Cut straight to the point and forget the fluff. Give them the most pertinent information and a hook they can't help but consider. Reporter/editor deadlines are stomach-churning, so keep your email pitches short.
- Link away. Use working hyperlinks within the body of the email pitch to provide more information should the reporter/editor decide they want it.
Learn the essential skills of PR writing and become a better communicator at PR News’ PR Writing Boot Camp taking place on Nov. 19 in Chicago.
Follow Angie Larsen on Twitter: @AngieLarsen1
Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene