Writing a media pitch is as easy as stringing words together to create a sentence that makes sense. However, trying to get the attention of target media professionals is another story. While it takes a lot of time and effort to come up with compelling content to put into a media pitch, one aspect that is regularly overlooked or considered an afterthought is the subject line.
Normally, subject lines are just thrown together in a rush to get the media pitch email sent out. Be that as it may, they should be considered a priority because this is the part of the pitch that convinces media professionals to open the email/media pitch. It is essential to make an excellent first impression; media pitch subject lines are an opportunity for companies to create a memorable first impression. Likewise, the perfect subject line could make the difference between a pitch being read or winding up in a journalist’s trash can. In reality, with hundreds, even thousands, of media pitches being sent out to media professionals daily, it is imperative to consider all parts of a media pitch so it does not get lost in a journalist’s inbox.
What is a media pitch?
Before we figure out how to write effective subject lines, we need to know what a media pitch is. A media pitch is a way for businesses and entrepreneurs to share knowledge about their goods and services with journalists, bloggers, and other influential media outlets in their field. The goal is to gain press attention, brand mentions, and further publicity for the company. Media pitching is important because getting media attention from the right outlets can help a company/startup raise awareness and develop its brand. A media pitch must be appropriate, newsworthy, short, organized, and timely to pique the attention of media outlets. One of the first and most critical steps in raising a company’s chances of being heard by the right audience is to target the right media professionals. First and foremost, a media pitch that is sent out should represent the needs of both the brand doing the pitching and the individual to whom the pitch is being made.
A successful contains many elements. Beyond crafting attractive email subject lines, some key elements include: content that provides value, isn’t too self-promotional, and has a focus on building relationships.
How to write a newsworthy media pitch subject line
As mentioned before, a good media pitch subject line compels media professionals to open the pitch. Rather than being an afterthought, it needs to be a well thought out string of words that effectively describes the content in the email. Let us look at some techniques to create an effective media pitch subject line to gain media coverage.
1) Write the subject line first
Generally, most writers use the traditional format of writing with an introduction, body, and conclusion. This works well because it generates a proper flow in the content created. The same idea applies when trying to develop a compelling subject line. Not only does writing the subject line first get the point of the pitch out of the way, but it also gives a company an outline of what the final pitch should include. An important point to keep in mind is that an email with a blank subject line is more likely to go unread or get lost in a media outlet’s inbox.
2) Keep it short and simple
There are two reasons why subject lines should be short and straightforward. Firstly, email service providers generally only allow around 60-80 characters in the subject line. Secondly, the subject line is meant to focus on the purpose of the message and only present information on what to expect with the rest of the email. If it is too wordy, the media professional will lose interest. The subject line is not a place for wordy descriptions. For some, it may seem impossible to create a sentence that effectively describes their intention in eight words or less, which is why PR agencies like Pressfarm exist.
Pressfarm works with companies of various sizes to create newsworthy content that helps them to achieve media visibility and coverage. They create everything from email pitches, to press releases, guest posts, and press kits using information submitted by the company. Beyond creating quality content which captures media attention, the experts at Pressfarm also help brands to find the best journalists to tell their story. With a comprehensive media database, clients can connect with over 75,000 journalists across industries. Similarly, personalized media lists built by an account executive can help your brand to connect with the best journalists in your niche. Reach out today and let the team at Pressfarm help take your brand to the next level.
3) No need for “clickbait” content
While it may seem like you need to impress the media with witty, tabloid-style headlines to stand out; that is not the case. It is essential to remember that a subject line is meant to highlight the value of the rest of your email. By creating funny or viral-worthy subject lines, companies run the risk of creating clickbait content that will hurt their chances of developing positive media relationships. So, sometimes the most effective way to get the attention of media outlets is to be straightforward with the information that is intended to provide value.
Also, companies should avoid using words that are too self-promotional, too many capital letters or excessive punctuation. This kind of content can trigger spam filters. If your pitch ends up in a journalist’s spam folder, then you might ruin your chances of getting any media coverage at all. In order for your subject line to be direct, it must clearly outline of the contents of your email. This convinces the journalist that the media pitch has been written for a specific reason and should be considered for a story. A subject line which offers value and help, frames the email as something that will be mutually beneficial to both the brand and its target media professional.
4) Consider the interest of journalists
Companies need to research the media professional they are trying to target thoroughly before even writing and distributing a media pitch. By finding out the topics they write about and their reporting styles, companies have a better chance to get the media coverage they crave because they know exactly whether their content will be read. Also, companies should consider using keywords or information related to the media professional’s previous content. This will increase the chances that the media pitch will be opened and read. Additionally, a personalized subject line offers more incentive for a media professional to create a story about the company. Once they realize the pitch was created specifically for them, they will be more open to reading it.
Examples of successful media pitch subject lines
1) Subject lines that clearly outline the intention of the email
Example #1: Pitch: the context and story in a few words
Example #2: Interview: headline of the story
Example #3: Feature: context & story
These examples provide media professionals with an idea of what to expect right away. They are also designed to generate curiosity with the reader. Many of these subject lines are posed as a question, with the email as the answer/solution. Since questions generate curiosity, this type of subject line works well for most brands. Instead of using a sentence in the subject line, ask a question that people may be interested in. In this situation, media outlets and target markets will click the email to learn more about the question posed in the subject line. A company’s open rate will rise, and media interest will peak due to the curiosity generated.
2) Subject lines that appeal to FOMO and are timely
As we know, the the fear of missing out can be a powerful tool for driving action. With the rotation of the news cycle being relatively rapid, companies need to create a subject line related to current trends and appeal to the reader’s FOMO. By developing a subject line that provides a sense of urgency and an email with a strong a call-to-action, you can push media outlets to consider picking up a story sooner so that they don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity. By imposing a deadline or implying that the material might be of interest to others, media outlets are forced to act quickly.
3) Subject lines that are personalized
Example #1: This article is just for you, [ Name]
Example #2: [Name], here are some valuable insights for your next article
Journalists like to feel like they are needed for the creation of a specific story. Companies should specialize their subject line to concentrate on the media outlet’s needs. In order to understand these needs, brands must invest in building long-term relationships with their media contacts before it’s even time to send a pitch. Building these relationships can help brands to conduct extensive research into a particular journalist, as well as their past material and writing styles.
4) Subject lines with numbers and lists
If you want your email pitch to be received well, then you might want to consider establishing your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Using numbers or lists in your subject line creates the impression that you have valuable information to share. This gives media outlets hope that if they do write a story about the business, they will be backing a company with experience in the industry. This positive reception will increase the chances of a successful pitch overall.
Example #1: Here are 10 ways to do XYZ with [insert product name]
Example #2: Did you know we are in the top 10 [list achievement]?
The above examples creates an impression that your company is busy creating newsworthy content. By using this subject line, you are offering solutions to potential problems that a journalist’s readers might have.
It is not enough to merely craft an email pitch with informative content. Without a practical and concise media pitch subject line, there is a very high chance that it will get lost in the sea of pitches that media professionals receive daily. Whether with the help of PR professionals or using internal communications, companies have a higher chance of receiving media attention when they create a concise and informative subject line that is targeted towards a specific media outlet. With the above tips, you can get your next pitch opened. Better still, we hope that these tips help you get enthusiastic replies from journalists.