- Always use the same subject line you see in the query.
- Never pitch something that’s off-topic. If you can’t help the journalist with the specific story she’s working on, then don’t reply. Pitching off-topic is the quickest way to get blacklisted.
- When addressing the journalist, make sure her name is spelled correctly. Is it Jaime or Jamie?
- Keep your email short. Three or four paragraphs is sufficient.
- Explain why you’d be a great source. Did you write a book on the topic the reporter is writing about? Are you a speaker or trainer? Do you have an academic degree in that topic?
- Provide office and mobile phone numbers. Journalists work round-the-clock and need immediate acccess to you during off-hours.
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are one of the best places to find journalists because more than half the journalists surveyed have said they use these sites to look for sources.
Another place to connect with them is through free media leads services like Reporter Connection. The service, created by Bill and Steve Harrison, provides leads from working journalists, broadcasters and bloggers who are looking for specific types of sources for stories or programs they’re working on, or for blog posts they’re writing.
Each weekday, you’ll receive an email that lists journalists’ specific needs. Each query will include contact information. You reply to the journalist, explain why you’d be a good source, and then wait for the journalist to contact you for an interview.
Competition among sources is sometimes fierce, particularly if the story deals with a general topic and dozens of experts respond to the query. There’s no guarantee you’ll be called. But you’d be crazy not to subscribe.
Here are pitching tips you need to keep in mind when answering a query:
(Even though this service is free, the Harrisons sell other products and services, and as a compensated affiliated, we’ll get a commission if you do.)