OtterPR, the fastest-growing public relations firm in the country, has made a name for themselves for their ability to get results. Quick results. These stellar outcomes are due to solid media pitches submitted on behalf of their roster of clients by skilled publicists who know how to entice journalists.
OtterPR’s COO, Colleen Falco, is a master of the effective pitch. Having spent time as the founder and creative director of the online publication The Irish Dance Globe and as a publicist, Falco has fielded requests for media coverage and sent her fair share of pitches. Years of experience inform her deft maneuvering with the written word, and her compelling pitches are part of the reason why OtterPR has publications clamoring to cover their clients.
Falco has a practical approach to pitching journalists, and her actionable tips along with the supplement of media pitch examples she delivers to her team garner incredible results.
Here are Falco’s secrets to strong pitches:
Have a Solid Call to Action
“A solid call to action is paramount to any strong pitch,” Falco said. “The journalist shouldn’t be opening your email and be left scratching their heads, wondering what it is you’re looking for. Your call to action should be your opening line.”
Media Pitch Example: “Would you be interested in interviewing Health Expert Jane Doe about the physical impact stress can have on your health and how you can combat it?”
The opening line clarifies who you are talking about and what you would like from the publication.
“Good publicists are up on their current events, and they know how to weave those relevant topics into pitches,” added Falco. “Compelling pitches tie a client to something currently going on that people will want to read about. When pitching, publicists are not just presenting their client, but they are pitching a story as well.”
Media Pitch Example: When pitching a client in the mental health industry, relate their services to the current mental health issues arising due to post-Covid return-to-work
“Including statistics with your pitch makes it more robust and sets your client up as the subject matter expert, an expert that publications will jump at the chance to profile,” she told us.
“Holidays are also a great way to keep pitches relevant. Keep a calendar of different observances, “National Awareness Months” and special days of celebration to tie into your pitches.”
“Bullet points make things easy to digest and quick to read,” said Falco. “They should go a little in-depth with what the article will be about and different topics that can be targeted underneath the umbrella of the main article focus. The use of bullet points may change depending on what you are pitching, but it’s good to utilize them as a general rule.”
The bullet points should be providing an outline of what the article could potentially look like.
Grab Their Attention, Respectfully
Falco mentioned that titles and bullet points should be “grabby” so the journalist pays attention to your pitch above the onslaught of other pitches they may receive daily. But, you want to remain respectful of a journalist’s time. Being very wordy won’t help you. Keep pitches engaging but concise.
Don’t Forget Your Client’s Information
According to Falco, this may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget the essential information publications will need amid multiple pitches. Include your client’s name with their title first, and include a link to their website.
Title examples: Manifestation Coach, John Doe or Cryptocurrency Expert, Jane Doe
If their website isn’t fully fleshed out yet, link to their LinkedIn. You want to position your client as a professional and an expert in their field. Their title and professional links lend credence to their story.
The Weak Pitch
How can you identify a weak media pitch? As Falco mentioned, it’s all in the wordiness. “Pitches that go on and on weaken with every superfluous line,” she said. “Keep pitches meaty but concise. Sometimes, major publications will receive hundreds of pitches a day. They’re not going to settle in to read a novel.”
Another sign of a weak pitch is the lack of a call to action. If a publication doesn’t understand what a publicist wants from them or the topic of the article being pitched, the pitch will likely go right into the trash bin.
Lastly, if the pitch is not timely, there’s a good chance the publication isn’t going to be interested. For example, if you’re pitching a publication using the angle of a news story that happened months ago, you’ve probably missed the boat on relevance.
The foundation of any successful PR company is a staff that can craft compelling, attention-grabbing pitches. OtterPR, under the leadership of pitch-expert Colleen Falco, has established the industry standard for pitches that get results and excellent media coverage for their clients.
Colleen Falco can be found online at: