How to Write a Media Pitch (Examples & Email Templates)

How to Write a Media Pitch (Examples & Email Templates)

Media Pitch Mastery: How to Grab Journalists’ Attention and Secure Coverage

In the fast-paced world of media, breaking through the noise to capture a journalist’s or editor’s attention is like aiming for a bullseye in a crowded archery competition. Your tool for this precise aim is the media pitch – a strategic attempt to intrigue media professionals enough that they decide to spotlight your story. The result? Glorious media coverage that can catapult your message to a wider audience.

But what exactly is a media pitch, and how can you master the art of crafting one that hits the mark? In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of media pitches, unveiling the secrets to creating compelling pitches that journalists can’t resist.

What is a Media Pitch?

A media pitch is your strategic shot at convincing a journalist, editor, or media outlet to take an interest in your story or news, compelling them to cover it. Typically delivered via email, this pitch aims to spark curiosity and prompt them to consider writing an article or including your story in their regular content.

In essence, a media pitch is your “ask.” You possess noteworthy information, perhaps intriguing industry data, that could captivate your target journalist. You reach out to them through an email, politely inquiring if they would be interested in featuring your story in their publications.

Is Writing a Media Pitch a Difficult Task?

The good news is that crafting an effective media pitch is neither rocket science nor an impossible feat. However, there’s a catch: journalists are inundated with pitches daily, and most of them end up in the digital equivalent of the wastebasket. Journalist Mikal E. Belicove, who navigates through a sea of pitches, asserts that many are fundamentally flawed. They often lack purpose, contain dubious claims, or present news without a factual foundation.

The bottom line? Journalists sift through a barrage of pitches, and only those that are relevant, newsworthy, concise, structured, and timely stand a chance.

Your media pitch must meet these criteria to capture their attention. In this guide, we’ll provide you with five tips for crafting a stellar media pitch. We’ll also showcase examples of effective media pitches and furnish you with ready-to-use pitch email templates. Let’s dive in.

Crafting an Effective Media Pitch: The Seven Steps

If you’ve ever composed an email pitch, you’ll discover that writing a media pitch follows a similar structure. However, there are crucial distinctions that you need to keep in mind. We’ve distilled the process into seven straightforward steps:

1. Ensure Your Story is Newsworthy

The subject line of your email is the gateway to getting someone to cover your story. Before you even contemplate sending your pitch, ask yourself these pivotal questions:

  • Is my news genuinely newsworthy?
  • Have I presented my news in an engaging manner that will pique interest?

The best pitch emails resoundingly answer these questions with a “yes.” If not, consider waiting until you have a truly newsworthy story in your arsenal.

When crafting a press release – an integral component of your pitch – tailor it with your target audience and journalists’ preferences in mind. Exceptional press releases provide a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come without revealing all the details. They’re designed to captivate readers, and journalists, and even catch the eye of search engines like Google.

Failure to consider these nuances could lead to a poor first impression with the media contacts receiving your press release.

What constitutes a newsworthy story? Social media experts suggest evaluating the following:

  • Is the story current and fresh?
  • Does it involve notable figures or events?
  • Does it evoke emotions in the audience?
  • Will your story impact a specific group of people?
  • Does it align with the focus of the publication you’re targeting?

2. Identify and Reach Out to Relevant Media Contacts

Before penning your media pitch, take the time to identify relevant media contacts. Compile a media list comprising individuals who might express interest in covering your story. Beyond journalists, this list can encompass social media influencers on platforms like LinkedIn, bloggers, podcast hosts, and even fellow PR professionals.

In the media landscape, journalists often specialize in specific areas, known as “beats.” Rather than dispatching your pitch to a general news outlet email address, address it directly to the individual most relevant to your story’s subject matter. It’s essential to knock on the right doors from the start.

For instance, if you’re a small business or startup launching a new product and reaching out to publications like WIRED, Forbes, or The New York Times, you’ll discover that each reporter has a unique specialization, such as drones, cell phones, or cloud computing. In this scenario, reaching out to the reporter covering products like yours is the intelligent approach, as opposed to pitching to a general technology correspondent.

3. Craft Your Subject Line

The subject line of your media pitch email is your first impression. It’s the initial element that journalists notice, so it must make an impact and entice them to open your email. Here are some key principles to remember:

  • Clarity is paramount: Clearly indicate that your email is a pitch. Avoid obscure language that could bury your pitch in a journalist’s cluttered inbox.
  • Keep it concise: While it might be tempting to embellish your subject line with buzzwords, simplicity is key. Aim to keep your subject line under 49 characters for optimal open rates.

Here are a few examples of effective media pitch subject lines:

  • Pitch: Interview with Therapist and Entrepreneur on Stress Management
  • Pitch: Journalists Report 83% of Cold Pitches Are Ignored
  • Pitch: The Perils of Keeping Your Cell Phone in Your Pocket

4. Grab Their Attention Early On

The opening of your media pitch email should be precise and engaging. Address your pitch directly to the journalist, ideally using their name and professional title. Personalization goes a long way in building meaningful relationships with your target journalists.

At this point, reiterate your journalist’s beat or area of expertise to confirm that you’re pitching the right person. Then, dive straight into the core information. Journalists seek answers to the five “W” questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

Offer a compelling lead in your opening paragraph, encapsulating your trending topic and timeframe. Remember, nothing excites journalists more than fresh news. Additionally, provide multiple angles for covering your story to cater to different publication styles and target audiences.

5. Craft an Email That Connects

Your email content should resonate with the journalist’s readership. Ensure that your pitch aligns with the journalist’s interests and that they can readily envision angles to present your story to their audience.

Journalists appreciate it when PR professionals facilitate their work. To make your news stand out, consider the following strategies:

  • Offer expert sources: While journalists may have their preferred sources, providing additional unique experts, such as academics or CEOs, can enhance your story’s credibility.
  • Share relevant links: While it’s best to avoid overwhelming your pitch with excessive graphs and data, strategically include external links related to your news. This can boost reader engagement and bolster your credibility with journalists and their audience.
  • Communicate your criteria: Explain why you specifically chose the journalist and news outlet for your pitch. Personalizing your approach by articulating your rationale can strengthen your pitch and rapport.

6. Craft an Effective Call to Action

A well-crafted call to action is essential. Use this opportunity to clarify why your story matters, and how it aligns with the journalist’s readership, and emphasize the timing. Keep your focus on your audience, the journalist, and their readers during this crucial step.

7. Conclude Your Media Pitch

Your pitch’s conclusion should summarize your key points in reverse order. Start by reiterating your call to action in a fresh and unique manner. If there are any last-minute data or relevant links that the journalist might find useful, include them. Finally, express gratitude for the journalist’s valuable time. Conclude with a polite sign-off and your boilerplate.

In the end, your boilerplate should serve as a convenient summary of your essential information. Include your contact details, background, why you’re the ideal person to pitch this news, and any relevant professional achievements tied to your pitch and news.

Mastering the Follow-Up

Even when you’ve executed all the steps correctly, there’s a possibility of not receiving a response. Questions may arise: Did the journalist receive your email? Was it opened, or did it drown in the sea of competing media pitches? Was your pitch so off the mark that it became the subject of online ridicule?

Rest assured, journalists are busy individuals, and sometimes, they simply haven’t had a chance to check their inboxes. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up. As a general guideline, avoid sending more than three consecutive emails without receiving a response. Minus the initial email leaves you with two follow-up attempts for your pitch. Maintain a gap of several days between each follow-up.

Politeness is paramount. Respect the journalist’s possible lack of interest in your story. Keep your follow-up concise and to the point, gently reiterating your interest and offering additional details if desired.

Be prepared for success. If you do receive a positive reply, ensure that you have any additional information they might require or a flexible schedule for potential interviews.

Media Pitch Templates for Effective Outreach

Template #1

Subject: Re: Loved your article about [Insert Article Topic]

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

I’ve been an avid follower of your blog for the past three years, and I must say, your insights have been invaluable!

Your recent article on [Insert Article Topic] really struck a chord with me. I followed your guidance step by step, and the results were fantastic.

If you have a moment, I’d be thrilled if you could take a look at my post on the same subject [Insert Link to Your Post]. I believe your audience would benefit from the additional insights.

Thank you for generously sharing your unique tips and expertise with the community.

Warm regards, [Your Name]

[Your Contact Details]

Template #2

Subject: Typo in your article

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

I have immense respect for your reporting, and I genuinely appreciate the stories you bring to light. It’s astonishing to see the shift towards mobile over desktop usage.

I noticed a couple of spelling errors in your recent article and thought I’d point them out:

  1. “The project, which was was announced.”
  2. “The content will be uses for The New York Times.”

Looking forward to your upcoming stories. Could you share a sneak peek of what you’re working on next?

Warm regards, [Your Name]

[Your Contact Details]

Template #3

Subject: Re: Shared your recent article on [Insert Platform]

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

As a devoted reader of [Section Name], I’ve thoroughly enjoyed delving into your recent articles. Your storytelling is captivating.

I was particularly moved by your recent piece on [Insert Article Topic], as reflected in my Twitter share and comment. Your work genuinely resonates with your audience.

I wanted to share some intriguing statistics about [Insert Relevant Statistics] since my company has been diligently collecting data in this area for the past five years.

Should you be interested in more details, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Warm regards, [Your Name]

[Your Contact Details]

Template #4

Subject: Interactive Map of Weed Legalization in Canada

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

I was researching information on marijuana legalization in Canada and stumbled upon your insightful article. Your coverage of the history and current status of legalization across provinces is commendable.

Interestingly, I’ve recently developed an interactive map showcasing the legal status of marijuana in Canada. It’s a visual aid that provides an easy-to-understand overview.

I believe this resource could be a valuable addition to your coverage. Would you be interested in taking a look?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards, [Your Name]

[Your Contact Details]

Template #5

Subject: Potential Story Idea for [Insert Publication Name]

Hi [Recipient’s Name],

If you’re on the lookout for a compelling story for your upcoming publication – whether it’s for next week, the weekend, or to fill a gap in your editorial calendar – I might have just the right topic.

How about exploring [Insert Topic] in-depth? It’s a subject that’s been gaining traction and offers a fresh perspective for your readers.

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to provide more details and insights.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

Template #6

Subject: [Engaging subject line]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Hope this message finds you well. I wanted to share an exciting opportunity for a story that aligns perfectly with your publication’s interests.

[Lead with a brief, attention-grabbing pitch that introduces your topic and its relevance].

[Provide any necessary context, such as a time-sensitive aspect or why this topic matters to your publication’s readers].

I believe this story has the potential to engage your audience and spark meaningful discussions. If you’d like to explore this further, I’m available to provide additional information and insights.

I’d also like to mention that I have a track record of producing high-quality content on [Your Areas of Expertise]. You can find some of my notable published work here: [Links to Two to Three Relevant Articles].

Thank you for considering this pitch. I look forward to the possibility of collaborating with you.

Best regards, [Your Name]

[Your Title, if applicable]

[Your Contact Information]


Crafting a media pitch can take various forms, with PR experts often having their preferred techniques. Nevertheless, the fundamental principles for writing a successful pitch remain consistent, whether it’s for an event, product launch, or breaking news.

Follow the tips and examples provided in this guide and tailor them to your specific news. Through experimentation and dedication, you’ll discover what works best for you. Refining your pitching strategy is the crucial first step toward securing publications, which can lead to valuable backlinks and heightened media coverage.

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