How to create the perfect pitch

How to create the perfect pitch

CP Communications went to a half day training course to learn about the perfect pitch. The team heard from four journalists who talked about how they prefer PR professionals to pitch stories to them and how they feel about creating relationships with PR professionals.

Here are some of the top tips the journalists suggested for creating the perfect pitch.

PR professionals should:

Do your research: You need to research the publication and the journalist that you are pitching to. When you contact a journalist demonstrate your knowledge of the publication or discuss some of the articles previously written by the journalist. Journalists will be more likely to use your pitch when it is specifically tailored to their publication.

Make is easy to set up interviews: You need to be able to arrange an interview between a journalist and your client quickly, so that the journalist can meet their strict deadlines. Journalists will be more likely to interview your clients in the future if you make it easy for them now.

Tell a journalist your good information straight away: Don’t hold on to your good information and wait for a feature opportunity to arise before you pitch it. Tell a journalist straight away and they will either use your information or keep it in mind for the future.

Return a journalist’s call within 30 minutes: Journalists are very busy and may be calling you to ask to interview one of your clients. If you don’t call them back straight away you may miss out on a media opportunity.

Become an expert on your client: A journalist may need to ask you basic questions about your client that they wouldn’t waste time asking in an interview. You need to be able to answer these basic questions quickly. For example they might ask how many employees does the company have or when was it founded?

Email your pitch: All four journalists said they prefer PR professionals to email them a pitch first then conduct a follow-up phone call two days later.

Create a relationship with a journalist: Journalists receive hundreds of emails a day and don’t have time to look at every email. If you have a relationship with a journalist then they are more likely to read your emails because they already know you.

Pitch with intention: Be very specific when you send a pitch. Journalists like it when you send them a pitch that details exactly what section of the publication your information would be perfect for.

Deliver on your pitch: If your client can no longer take part in an interview with a journalist you must find a replacement person. Never leave a journalist without someone to interview when they are close to their deadline.

Be friendly but not overly familiar: For example never call a journalist ‘honey’ or give them a nickname if you don’t have a great relationship with them.

Put the reader first: Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and communicate to them.

Here are some things that PR professionals should never do:

  • Never miss spell the name of a journalist or a publication.
  • Never send an email with the wrong name of the journalist.
  • Never call on a Monday morning. Journalists are usually very busy and may not have time to talk to you.
  • Never abuse a journalist if you receive bad or negative coverage. This will create a negative relationship with the journalist and they will be less likely to interview your clients in the future.
  • Never be rude to the editor co-ordinator. One day the co-ordinator may be the editor of a publication and they will remember how badly you treated them. If you create a bad impression they may not use your pitch in the future.

Some of the journalists suggested that they would be open to having a coffee with PR professionals to create a relationship with them. You just need to ask a journalist and be prepared with useful information for them.

Want more tips? Download this FREE ebook:

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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more PR tips see

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