Two Words Can Boost the Response Rate of Media Pitches

What would you say if I told you there are two simple words you can use in your subject line to generate a response rate of up to 75 percent or more? Believe it or not, it’s true. Behold the two powerful words: interview request.

Those two words provide an excellent opportunity to flip the traditional PR approach. So much of our time is spent trying to get journalists and other influencers to interview our experts. Why not try to change things up and interview journalists for content projects like blog posts, webinars, eBooks, and podcasts? It’s a win-win: We need to create compelling content, and they need to get good exposure.

More Benefits

Beyond simply helping you generate content, your participants are also likely to amplify content that you create together because it includes them. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself getting the enthusiastic coverage that you’ve been searching for from the very people that you’re most interested in reaching.

A request for an interview is an ego boost. It's flattering when someone wants to hear your opinion. Even if someone you approach isn’t willing or able to do it, they’re still likely to respond and thank you for considering them. That response can open doors down the road.

I can verify the value of the interview request approach with an experience I had creating an eBook. The goal was to interview influencers and publish them in the book. The subject line started with the two special words and was enough to get people to take a look and respond. I reached out to 60 people and heard back from 45 of them—a 75 percent response rate.

Obviously, this is not a huge, scientific survey. On the other hand, it works.

The responses came from every level of influencer, from those with millions of followers to those with a more modest but still highly engaged audience. As mentioned before, even the people who declined still wanted to express their gratitude and became receptive to future communication. By laying the groundwork in this way, I was able to work with many of them to get coverage later on.

The next time you want to experiment with something new to boost your response rate for pitches and get valuable results, try the interview request method. You might be surprised by how much good those two words can do for your pitches, your coverage, and your relationships with media contacts.

Brandon Watts is founder and principal of Wattsware