In Major League Baseball, it’s tradition to have a celebrity or someone of extreme importance throw out the first pitch of every game. Whether they are baseball prodigies or not, these celebs usually take a few minutes to practice, as their abilities will be seen by the entire nation. Obviously this was not the case with 50 Cent, otherwise known as Curtis Jackson, who threw out what may be known as the worst first pitch in MLB history on May 27 at the New York Mets game.
Just like pitching in baseball, pitching in the world of public relations also takes practice and is not something everyone is amazing at. Throughout my university career and my internship opportunities, I’ve learned how to make a pitch stand out from the crowd. And you guessed it. I’m going to share what I’ve learned about pitching with you. Here are my top 5 rules for pitches.
Rule 5: Know Who You’re Pitching
Do you have to know the reporter on a personal level? It would definitely help, but it’s not a requirement. For those of us who are interning or are just beginning our pr careers, we don’t have the luxury of having personal relationships with reporters, so we have to do our homework. Check them out on Twitter and read their previous stories. Knowing small pieces of information about them or giving them complements may simply put you over the edge.
Rule 4: Provide Multiple Angles
Every story can be told several different ways. Each person remembers it a different way and puts their own unique spin on it. Journalism works the exact same way. Reporters want one-of-a-kind stories, so before making your pitch, brainstorm a few different ways you could present it and pitch the most unique angle you come up with.
Rule 3: Subject Line = Interesting
Reporters receive upwards of 500 pitches via email everyday. How many of those do they actually open? A very small percentage. So distinguish your pitch with a clever and creative subject line that will immediately grab the reporter’s attention.
Rule 2: Grammar and Spell Check
The worst thing you can possibly do is email a pitch to a reporter that contains a grammatical or spelling error. Not only will they completely disregard the pitch, but they will be more wary of opening future pitches from you as well.
Rule 1: Keep it Concise
Reporters have a limited amount of time and prefer not to read lengthy emails that explain every single detail. Outline the “Who, What, Where, When and Why” of your message, so they can instantly see the most important details regarding your pitch.
Remember, pitching is something that requires practice. Don’t get discouraged when you receive an overwhelming number of negative responses or no responses at all. If you’re persistent and utilize these five rules correctly, you’re odds of landing a story in a newspaper will continue to increase.
To read my original guest post for AlexG PR, click here.