I grumble all the time about media mutts who deliver pitches that have nothing to do whatsoever with the media outlet they’re pitching it to.
For a perfect example of what I’m talking about, check out this poorly written pitch I received this week from Travel Features Inc., complete with errors:
“Kindly find a 900 word travel article on visit to Gir National Park and Sanctuary alongwith high resolution photographs in jpg format clicked with Olympus 5 mega-pixels digital camera, about trekking on foot through Gir, with close-up photographs of the shy spotted deer, one lion with lioness and cubs for publishing in your travel magazine.”
Why did they send this to me? Probably because I publish a newsletter and my name is one of several thousand listed in a media directory they used.
I don’t care about shy spotted dear or lion families. The only animal I care about is a Hound–the two-legged kind.
If you pitch a story idea and you haven’t held the magazine in your hands, or visited the media outlet’s website, or watched the TV show, or listened to the radio show, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Your pitch will scream, “I have no idea who you are, but I’m bothering you anyway.”
Smart Hounds research media outlets before they pitch so the journalist on the receiving end thinks “They know who I am, what I cover and what I need. I’ll read this one.”
That’s one of hundreds of tips I share on “Get Free Publicity in Print,” a recording of an interview I did with George McKenzie. He picked my brain and got me to share dozens of ways to build strong relationships with the media. It’s my very favorite interview and it’s also available as an electronic transcript you download and be reading in a few minutes.