There are various ways that startups can use to get through to journalists including press releases, email pitches, and video pitches. As we have discovered while pitching journalists at Pressfarm, video pitches can really work out in favor of a startup that knows how to utilize this medium.

In the past few years, video has become one of the most preferred modes of communication. Within the last decade, platforms like YouTube have grown from nothing to billion-dollar companies. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have video as a huge part of their platforms now. This is evidence that people really like videos, and journalists are no exception.

Therefore, how can startups leverage video when pitching journalists? The answer is not so simple so let’s get started.

1. The subject line has to make a huge point

As usual, the secret to getting journalists to open your email when you send it is to have an intriguing subject line that makes them want to explore the email further.

Learn to treat the subject line as an opportunity to capture attention and earn clicks. It is almost like the title of an article; no one opens an article to read further if it has a boring title. A great subject line generates curiosity for the journalist in question.

For instance, let’s assume have compiled a report titled “Virtual Reality Marketing Report.” Using that as the subject line is sure to send your email in the trash. Instead of that, you could use an intriguing subject line like “New survey shows the top marketing trends dictating uptake of VR”.

2. Make your paragraphs short

Once your subject line is done well and finalized, the next step is to work on crafting the actual body of your email. Your paragraphs need to be short and to the point. In fact, many journalists prefer two to three paragraphs for your email body.

Remember that you are only trying to convince the journalist to get back to you so that you can discuss further; so avoid writing an essay. In our experience, about 250-300 words is usually an acceptable range of words for your email body.

3. Time to create the video

After doing a short introductory email body, it is now time to bring in the video. The secret to a good video pitch is to ensure that you personalize the introduction. We have seen that personalized videos start to remove the barriers between the journalist and yourself. Personalization also earns trust from the journalist.

When you start working on your video, ensure that your first few sentences talk about you, your product, what inspired it, and why you think the journalist would be interested in it. It is good practice to refer to previous content the journalist has written and explain why you think your story is a good fit for them.

4. Go ahead, say hello, and connect to your listener in the video

If you are wondering why a video pitch is important, here;

  1. People love watching videos. Additionally, when given the option, many people will opt to watch a video rather than wade through paragraphs of text. The chances of people skipping through the text and watching the video are very high.
  2. A video allows you to incorporate several modes of communication in one medium. For instance, you can have text overlaying in your videos as well as photos,videos and other graphics.
  3. A well-designed video generally encourages the journalist to be more open to you. If they like the video, then there is a high chance they will go back to read your email.
  4. If you are targeting a particular journalist whose taste in music you know, you could incorporate some of their favorite songs into the video presentation as accompanying music.

5. How do you create and send your video pitch?

  • Choose a video creation tool

There are several marketing video creation tools and services like Promo, Shakr, Moovly, Biteable, Motionbox and Breadnbeyond among others. 

  • Write a short script

Once you have selected a video creation tool, you can now start writing a short script for your video. Just like an email pitch, a video should be short and precise. Get the most important information into the video and leave all the unnecessary details for when the journalist contacts you.

  • Use a hook in the beginning

This is important to ensure that the video hooks the viewer to watch until the end. A great hook will generate enough curiosity to keep the journalist watching the video until the end. 

  • Add a Call-To-Action (CTA)

What would you like the journalist to do after watching the video? This is ideally the call-to-action which is essential. Would you like them to email you back? Visit a website? Send you something? Make it clear before you end the video.

  • Publish and create a shareable or embeddable link

Once you have created the video, it is now time to save it and generate a link that is shareable. If you cannot do that, a lot of people would just download the video from the video creation tool and upload this video on their YouTube channels. From YouTube, it is easy to create an embeddable link into your email body that somebody can click to go watch.

Using YouTube is highly preferred since it is a trusted video platform. YouTube will not raise doubts from the viewer about the credibility of the video. A lot of people will be more comfortable continuing to watch a video if it is on a popular website like YouTube. Similarly, if you share this video on a popular social media platform, your target audience will be open to watching it.

6. The story is important

The most important thing in video creation is the story you’re telling. You need to put serious thought into your story angle. You can capture the attention of a journalist through good storytelling. 

7. Create a media list

Media list creation is an important skill for any brand. This is especially the case when you’re doing targeted pitching of any kind, including video pitching. In order to build an effective media list, you must first do your research to find media contacts in your niche. Using keywords, names of publications, and other filters, you can quickly build your media list and save yourself hours of searching online for journalist contacts.

Before you even start pitching to these media contacts, you should take time to build mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Finding the right journalists to help tell your story can be challenging. However, by partnering with PR agencies like Pressfarm you can access contact information for over 1 million journalists in the UK, USA, and Australia across different niches at an affordable price.

In addition to helping you connect with top journalists around the world, we’re also skilled at working with different brands to produce quality content that will capture media attention and excite your target audience. From writing winning press releases which journalists will want to read to designing creative media kits which will inspire your target audience, we have what it takes to help you build a memorable brand image.

We can also help to increase brand visibility by registering your startup on startup directories and writing guest posts that are published on a variety of media outlets. With Pressfarm’s comprehensive media outreach strategies, your startup can finally get the publicity it deserves.

8. Reach out

Once you have a media list, your short email pitch, and your video ready, it is now time to launch your outreach campaign.

Remember to follow up with the contacts you reach out to. Nevertheless, don’t be too stubborn if they don’t get back to you after 2 follow-ups. By bombarding the same journalist with one email after another, you risk being blacklisted.

Using video in your pitches might seem challenging at first. Be that as it may, try to think of it as a creative challenge. If you get your video pitching right, then you’ll have a foolproof recipe for getting a journalist’s attention next time you have news to share.