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There’s nothing quite like media coverage to lend immediate third-party credibility for your product. But figuring out how to write a pitch letter that editors respond to is something that often confuses many entrepreneurs.
Let’s say you hear a certain editor is looking for cozy fall living room accessories for a gift guide or that they need samples of sun hats for a summer photo shoot. They’re going to be inundated with fantastic products, but you can vault to the top if you know how to write a pitch letter that grabs their attention. Here are some best practices when answering a query from a busy journalist.
1. Give them exactly what they need.
Many times small business owners respond to a query by offering to send more information upon request. But writers don’t have time to go on a treasure hunt, so make their job easier by sending them what they ask for right off the bat. Most queries are quite specific about what they’re looking for.
2. But don’t give them too much.
It’s a fine line between answering their questions and overwhelming them with excess information. If they have asked specifically about jewelry items, stick to that, rather than also sending information on all your other accessory lines.
3. Pay attention to their deadline.
Most writers are working on tight deadlines, so for the best chances of inclusion, respond to a query as soon as possible. Even if the stated deadline is farther out, they may use the first few responses they receive so your best opportunity to be included is to respond as soon as possible.
4. Include all your contact information.
Often editors will include a link to your website or your social media handles so make sure those are readily available in your response. Also, if your items are available in stores, include a list so they can cite retailers as appropriate.
5. Have a catalog of photography available.
Most product responses will need photos to go with them, so make sure you have professional images for each individual product along with a group product shot. You also might want to consider adding “lifestyle images,” as in your product being used in a natural setting; say, candles grouped in an attractive styling on a nice table. Some editors may use straight product shots, but others may prefer these more natural images, especially with the large amount of imagery that’s required for visual content for different social channels. Also consider making sure you have photos in both portrait and landscape since many mobile channels require different dimensions. You’ll want to make it easy for them so that retouching isn’t needed to extend an image.
6. Don’t send too many photos at once.
Since image needs can be very specific, you don’t want to send to overload their inbox. Instead of sending your catalog of photos, send them a link to where they live online and/or let them know what you have available and they can ask for what they specifically need.
7. Be easy to work with.
This seems like a no brainer, but writers are like anyone else; they want to work with people who make their job easier. So don’t wait to respond to any follow-up questions they ask; or, if you do need to delay while you gather information, take a moment to let them know you received their email and when they might expect a response. Otherwise, they may move on. When they ask for specific information, make sure you send it. In other words, they are the “customer,” so be the type of source that will keep them coming back for more.
Want to know more about how to write a pitch letter that will get a response from a busy journalism? I’d love to help you tweak your public relations strategy to help you get in front of key influencers and start getting the attention your company and products deserve.
Ready to get more visibility in the media and increase your sales?
Call me at 1-858-859-1411 or email me at email@example.com today if you’re in need of help.
And make sure to click the purple box below to get your FREE step-by-step template so you have it handy for quick review when responding to a journalist or writer. Can’t wait to see you in the magazines.