How to lose an editor in 3 steps
In the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Kate Hudson’s character writes a dating “How to” in reverse. What NOT to do on the dating scene.
Just like certain things drive dates away, certain pitching mistakes can almost instantly relegate your email to a reporter’s spam folder.
Here’s how to lose an editor/reporter:
- Get his or her name wrong or misspell words
Mixing up a name or calling a reporter by the wrong pronoun is a surefire way to tick them off, before they even get to the content of your pitch. And a typo in the subject line throws your credibility out the window. If you misspelled “the,” who’s to say you didn’t mix up something more substantial like a percentage or a date in the pitch? Make sure to proof carefully and get a fresh set of eyes on your pitch before you hit send.
- Pitch the wrong topic
Reporters like to engage with PR people who have done their research. If you pitch a food critic a political event on Capitol Hill, you’re just wasting his time. He’s likely to block you, which means you’re in trouble if you ever have to pitch a new restaurant opening. Go through media lists carefully and read through reporters’ work before you pitch them.
- Blast a general pitch
If you want to stand out in an inbox filled with hundreds of pitches, personalization is key. Reporters don’t want the same exact pitch you sent to hundreds of others. Check out reporters’ tweets and articles to see the angles they like to take and absorb their writing styles. And remember that you’re pitching an actual person. A simple joke or pleasantry can go a long way toward developing a positive media relationship.