This Is How You Pitch: Being a Rockstar in Your First Year of PR

It is no secret that the world of PR is a tough one, and the first year on the job is one of the most difficult. For most, the first year is dedicated to learning the core skill of the PR business – pitching! Crafting the right email, making the right phone call to the right person, having the right conversation, and securing top-tier coverage is not always an easy task.

As I prepare to enter my second year at Zer0 to 5ive, a colleague suggested that I read the book, This Is How You Pitch: How To Kick Ass In Your First Years of PR, by Ed Zitron. As the title reveals, this book dishes the inside secrets on the steps to becoming a successful PR maven. Plus, the book provided me with some great advice on what not to do as I move forward in my career.

So, how do you succeed in your first year of PR?

1. Make your pitches sound like a human being wrote them.

Here’s the truth: reporters are underpaid, overworked and inundated with emails. Pitches need to be clear, and to the point. In fact, Zitron suggests writing your pitch to a 12-year-old who may care (a little) about what you’re doing, but isn’t necessarily willing to put too much time into what you have to say.

2. Keep your pitch short and sweet.

Again, remember that reporters are overloaded. As Zitron notes, the good ones receive somewhere between 300-500 emails per day! This means, many pitches are left unread, because there is no time or energy to look through everything. So, how does Zitron guarantee that your email is read?

Keep your pitch to 175 words or less. Make the pitch “easy to skim,” so that a reporter can quickly and easily get the gist of what you’re saying. This not only makes life easier for the reporter, but will also position you in a more favorable light when you reach out again in the future.

3. Do the background research.

The PR world is busy and often, we PR people don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all of our tasks. Because of this, it’s even more important to spend our time pitching the right reporter. As Zitron explains, this means doing the background research! It’s imperative to know who your target reporters are and what these reporters are writing about. It’s also a good idea to keep up on any trends or stories that are going on, so your pitch aligns with what they are covering.

This process may seem laborious, but in the long run, putting in the additional work upfront will not only make your job easier but it will allow you to be more successful when it comes to getting those big hits!

Using these simple tips will help you survive your first year(s) in the business and turn yourself into the top PR pro you always thought you could be!

Post by Ariela Weinberger
Associate Strategist