I’ve been reading some really bad pitches lately for my Examiner column. Thought I would bring back this post just as a quick refresher!
Getting to the point isn’t as easy as it sounds. So here’s a quick primer for the next time you write a pitch.
Before you write your pitch, answer these questions:
1. What do you want? Is it a guest post for their blog, a feature in the magazine, a column…most of the time people do not say what they actually want – they just talk about themselves. For the sake of this exercise, let’s say I want a book review.
2. What is one interesting thing about your product or service that will GET you what you want? In this case, I’m going to say that I have the only book about marketing written by a dog. (Okay, extreme example but it would get MY attention)
3. What gives you the credentials to get what you want? For my example, my dog has been involved in many marketing campaigns as a spokesdog. In your case, you have spent the last 10 years finetuning your product…you have 20 years experience in your field…you’re extremely attractive (this will work for TV and especially if you’re pitching Fox) You get the idea
4. What is the next step? For our sample pitch, I would like to send a book for review consideration. In your case, perhaps you’d like to send the writer some story ideas. Or a video of yourself talking about your product or service…especially if you’re extremely attractive and pitching Fox
Now, write your pitch. Forget the flowery “I’m the best in the world” stuff. Forget the long paragraph that explains how the planetary alignments, economy over the last 10 years and Oprah Winfrey have all come together to create this moment where your book, product or service is the cosmic lightning that will change the universe. No one believes you, sorry!
For our example, my pitch would look like this:
Hello, I’m Rufus the Dog and I’m the first dog to write a book about marketing. Seriously, I’ve been the spokesdog for XXX brand for the past 10 years, and if you think marketing is a crazy business, you should try seeing it through the eyes of a dog! Plus, my owner (who helped me write it) has been a marketing specialist for the past 20 years, and has worked on major national brands such as XXX and XXX.
I would love to have you consider my book for review. May I send you a copy? Thanks so much for your consideration!
Seriously, that’s all there is to it. You can offer more background information, video clips, a book or project case study, but don’t send it with the first email. Get the media’s attention by getting to the point and knowing what you want. Once you have their attention, you can hit them with both barrels!