While reading my Ragan’s Daily Headlines (as I often write about…) I came across a headline that practically made me jump out of my seat in excitement: Eight ways to befriend journalists via e-mail. Isn’t this something we all would love to master?
I especially thought the one tip was something we all need to take a second and think about:
Tip #7: Chill out.
We often write a pitch, have four people look over it, make sure every word is perfect, every comma is in the correct place, and possibly rewrite it five times. According to this tip, stop it.
It is recommended in the article that we don’t write a pitch that sounds like a brochure, or a super formal e-mail getting sent to the CEO of a major company. This is often the result when we pour over the words for days to make sure the end result is perfection.
According to Kacie Main, an account executive at O’Connell & Goldberg PR in Hollywood, Fla, “In order to build relationships through e-mail, you have to write them as if you’re on the phone. You would never call someone and immediately jump into your pitch. You would say ‘hi, how are you?’ And when hanging up, you wouldn’t say ‘best regards,’ you would say ‘thanks’ or ‘talk to you soon.'”
Although you don’t want to waste their time with unnecessary chit-chat, at least introduce yourself and have your pitch seem somewhat like a conversation.
Another thing journalists like, according to the article: bullet points; they’re easier to digest than paragraphs of information.
Has anyone found more success using these e-mail tactics? I’d love to hear about your personal tricks to get a writer’s attention and develop a trusted relationship. As students in the PR field, we always have our ears and eyes open to learn more.