Avoiding These Pitching Peeves

I’ve posted several queries on HARO and I’m always very specific about the query – what or who I’m looking for, the deadline, what they should put in the subject line, keep it brief, etc.
 
You can’t imagine the emails I’ve received in response to my queries. Some of the emails, if printed, would be at least three pages. Some of them have nothing to do with my query in any way, shape or form. Frankly, these emails are a HUGE waste of my time.
 
So, I’ve made a list of pitching tips for anyone planning to pitch anyone in the media (and yes, bloggers are considered “media people”) about their products or services or in response to a query.
 

1. Address the right person.

Not “To Whom It May Concern”, even if you have to hunt around for this information. Nothing says “blind pitch” louder than opening with “Dear Blogger”.  I recently received a pitch that said, “Dear Coaching & Resources For Mom Entrepreneurs”. Nope, I’m not kidding — they used my title tags as my title.  (Delete…)
 
 

2. Keep it short.

Don’t make the reader scroll down. At all. That means about two short paragraphs at most.
 
 

3. Pitch ON topic.

Please, please, please don’t pitch someone about something that has nothing to do with what they’ve asked for. These days, everyone’s busy–don’t waste their time.
 
 

4. Familiarize yourself with the publication, blog, or show that you’re pitching.

This will enable you to very clearly state why your product or service will benefit that reader or viewer.
 
 

5. Get to the point.

Fast. HOW will your product or service will tie in with the story. How will it benefit the reader or viewer? What is the emotional draw of your product or service? Why should they run a story about you?
 
 
I hope these tips help you with your pitch.  If you want more tips, check out Get Famous It’s got everything you need to pitch like a pro!
 

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Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.
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8 Comments

  1. Shannon Nicholson

    Heather, your experience with HARO is a common frustration for journalists (bloggers or otherwise). And it’s certainly not limited to HARO. I moderate PitchRate.com and occasionally see off-topic pitches, although the pitches are automatically rated and off-topic ones are easy for journalists to identify without even opening them.

    In the defense of the offenders, I think those off-topic pitches are mostly innocent. It’s simply a case of wanting so badly to get the word out about what they’re most passionate about and simply not listening to the request or doing their research on the blogger’s beat. There is a paradigm in a personal growth and development course I participate in that applies to most, if not all, of us at one time or another: “I don’t listen. I never have. And I never will.”

    Thank you for providing a few useful tips to help more people break that paradigm.

    ~Shannon

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Hi Shannon,
      I agree – I think off-topic pitches are mostly innocent but they don’t realize that they will screen themselves right out by doing so. There’s enough information out there now that shows newbie pitchers how to do it right – if they really want the press badly enough, they’ll avoid these mistakes by preparing and pitching properly. 😀

      Heather

      Reply
  2. Ros

    Great subject to cover. I know in the beginning I was guilty of DOTM, but I’m proud to say I learned my smart pitching techniques from the one and only — Heather Allard! The other tip you shared with me when sending email pitches is — do not include attachments, which will result in deletion.

    Reply
  3. Erika Berry a.k.a. CleanyBeany

    Thank you for these timely articles. Love the visual:-) If you only have 10 minutes for a pitch you better keep it on point! Thanks for the reminder. Twitter is a great pitch warm up.

    Reply
    • Heather

      Hi Erika,
      Glad you liked the tips…and the visual. Hee. 🙂 Twitter IS a great pitch warm up!

      Heather

      Reply
  4. jewelstreet

    Thank you for this. I’ve just recently started doing Haro and have been wondering if I’m writing correctly. I think long and hard about which ones to reply to, but it’s the replies that get me.

    Reply
  5. Mom 4 Life

    THANK YOU for this article, I hope many are reading this;)! Maybe send it to Kelly for StartUpPrincess to add to her site too!

    Reply
  6. Jennifer

    Very good tips! I love HARO… I can’t wait to really start pitching when my site is finally done. I am going to get a final preview on Monday night, I will have to email you when I get it and get your advice for any changes.

    Jennifer:)

    Reply

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