Proper Email Etiquette for Pitching Journalists
As we’ve discussed, email is probably still the best tool for communicating with journalists.
There are many ways to get email addresses for journalists. You can generate lists from companies like Cision, Vocus, Muckrack and others. Once you have your list and you’re getting ready to blast out your big announcement here are some general rules of thumb for communicating your pitch in a respectful manner.
- Personalize your introductions, use mail merge software to help with bigger lists.
- DO NOT CC everyone, and if you have to send it out as one email (as opposed to individually or via mail merge) use the bcc field to send to the recipients.
- Limit images. You don’t know what type of email program or server restrictions the recipient will have and your beautifully designed graphic heavy pitch could show up looking like gobbledygook!
- In the subject line write PRESS RELEASE, PITCH or STORY. This way the journalist knows what they are receiving and you won’t get mistaken for spam.
- Always keep your subject line and email introduction short, concise and as catchy as possible. You need to entice and lead the reader into your story as opposed to bombarding them with info.
You can be as polite as possible and think you’re sending out the most relevant and pertinent pitch ever and you will still get journalists who respond less than favorably to your pitch. Don’t take it personally, journalists are often inundated, over worked and underpaid remember this and always be polite, courteous and accommodating whenever possible.