with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
As we all know and tend to learn the hard way, email is not the perfect communications medium and using it well when you are pitching something to reporters is an art unto itself. In order to improve the success of your email pitches, here are some things to keep in mind before hitting the “Send” button.
1. Don’t pitch unless you have the good match.
Do your homework and learn what reporters are writing about. Read their articles or columns. Get familiar with their “beat.” Your non-related pitch can put sour taste in their mouth, especially when they report on women in business and you pitch them an interview with a male CEO.
2. Do keep your pitches very short and to the point.
Dozens of emails means a writer has only seconds to skim each one to see if something grabs their attention. Catchy, funny and pithy subject lines or opening sentences do not help.
For your opening line, state exactly who you are pitching and why they would be of interest to the writer.
Bad: “Jane Doe was born and raised in San Diego, California. If you hear the sound of her voice, you’d swear she was from the South. Nevertheless, she’s just a plain ole’ city girl. She has been a wife for over 18 years, and is the mother of two young boys.” (Actual Pitch)
Good: “Since you write about female home-based business owners with small children, I wanted to introduce you to Jane Doe is a home-based owner of a jewelry design business in California and is also a mother of two young boys.”
3. Don’t pitch someone if they are not available to be interviewed, including yourself.
We’re all busy, but if you pitch a client to a writer, by the time they get in touch with you, nine times out of ten they are on a tight deadline. If you can’t be available to a reporter, be specific about when you can.
4. Be a resource.
If you know someone else who can help the reporter when you can’t, don’t hesitate to make the referral. Good PR karma always comes back to you. Helping a reporter positions you in their mind as someone with valuable connections. That can only be beneficial for building a relationship with them.
Always remember that a pitch that is on track is always more welcome than an irrelevant one. How you pitch could mean the difference between a pained expression on a writer’s face that leads to the click of “Delete” or a feature article about you and your company in a leading national publication.
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