It shouldn’t come as a surprise that thoughtful, well-executed pitches yield the best results for public relations practitioners. Everyone is busy and attention spans are finite, so the chance to reach someone depends on multiple factors, many of which can be out of your control. However, many PR pros continue to slip up with simple mistakes that prevent their pitches from reaching full potential.
Luckily, a new year means new opportunities for success. Here’s 10 ways you can leave pitch mistakes in the past this 2023.
Don’t: Drone on…and on…
Journalists are bombarded with hundreds of pitches every day. If yours reads more like a novel, don’t anticipate a response any time soon.
Don’t: Leave them asking, “You talkin’ to me?”
Don’t: Be wishy-washy
Don’t: Waste time reaching the wrong audience
Sometimes, PR pros mistakenly reach out to reporters who aren’t the right fit (or, maybe they once were, but have since changed roles — especially given recent layoffs and the rise of freelancing). If you’re guilty of this, rest assured that you’re not the first and won’t be the last.
Don’t: Half-ass your research
While you want your pitch to be attention-grabbing, don’t fall victim to crafting copy that resembles clickbait. Exaggerated claims are likely to turn off any journalist worth targeting.
Don’t: Get lost in the shuffle
Don’t: Forget to proofread…and run a spellcheck
When pitching to a professional writer, typos are sure to make them cringe. We even quivered at the thought of a grammatical error just now.
Don’t: Write lame subject lines
Don’t: Rock the boat
It can be easy to get swept up in the stress of deadlines and expectations, but you should always remember that the person you’re trying to contact is just that — a person. Put yourself in their shoes: would incessant follow-ups or pushy remarks make you more likely to consider a pitch? Chances are, probably not.