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Perfect Pitches: 500 Publishers Tell Us How To Get Their Attention

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We surveyed over 500 publishers to discover how businesses and individuals can increase their noise:value ratio when trying to secure press. Through over 20 survey questions and open-ended responses, we were able to establish a full picture on what publishers want from content ideation, development, and pitching. Over 100 high-caliber sites responded, including but not limited to: CNN, Time, NY Times, Guardian, Forbes, CNet, MSN, Reuters, Daily Mail, USA Today, ZDNet, Tech Crunch, Mashable, MTV, Huffington Post, Slate, Real Simple, Business Insider, Babble, Examiner, PC Mag, BuzzFeed and LifeHacker.

Perfect Pitches: 500 Publishers Tell Us How To Get Their Attention

  1. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  2. This is a story about a noise:value ratio that has gotten out of whack. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, Image Credit:
  3. Editorial voices are outnumbered by public relations professionals by almost 5:1 @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  4. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, “Many [PR professionals] have a misunderstanding when it comes to the difference between advertorial and guest posts.” – “Too many submissions we get are clearly just pitches for a company, attempting to masquerade as thought pieces, a press release dressed as a guest post.” – “Over time [guest blogging] has become a more and more spammy practice.” – Matt Cutts
  5. Our Research @KelseyLibert,
  6. We interviewed over 500 writers, editors, and publishers. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  7. This Is Their Story @KelseyLibert,
  8. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  9. @KelseyLibert,@RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  10. The majority of people you’re pitching only write ONE STORY per day. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  11. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
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  13. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  14. Although most writers publish one story per day, 44% of them get pitched a minimum of TWENTY TIMES per day. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  15. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  16. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  17. Although writers are inundated with pitches, only 11% often write a story based on content that was sent through a pitch.
  18. However, 45% said sometimes, so there is an opportunity for change. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  19. Your Strategy Lesson @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  20. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  21. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  22. STOP spamming writers with poorly matched assets. Instead, collaborate on mutually beneficial ideas. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  23. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
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  25. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  26. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  27. Your Networking Lesson @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  28. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  29. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  30. 64% of writers think it is of some importance that you establish a personal connection before pitching. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  31. Use Twitter as a platform to socialize with your prospects weeks prior to the pitch. Engage in blog posts. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  32. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  33. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  34. Put down your cell phone. Stop spamming on social media. Start writing sincere emails to the best-fit person for your campaign. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  35. Use a CRM such as BuzzStream to manage your relationships. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  36. Your Pitch Lesson @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  37. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  38. What time of day do you want to be pitched? @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  39. Use a pre-scheduling tool to send your emails in the early morning hours. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  40. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  41. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  42. 88% of writers prefer a pitch be less than 200 words. Check your word count before sending. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  43. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  44. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  45. Test your subject lines in your inbox. What stands out? The golden rule is 45-65 characters. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  46. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  47. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
  48. An overwhelming number said they want a subject line that is: • Direct • Concise • Descriptive • Includes keywords relevant to the writer’s beat Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill,
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  50. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  51. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  52. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill
  53. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  54. • Do your research. • Know the publication. • Be relevant. • Make it newsworthy. • Know my beat. • Don’t use all caps. • Be personal. • Be concise. • Don’t cold call. • Does it fit my beat? • Use spellcheck. • No giant attachments. • Don’t pitch on social media. • Know my audience. • Avoid phony friendliness. • Get my name right. • Avoid the fluff. • Tailor your subject lines. • Die in a fire. @KelseyLibert,Image Credit:
  55. Image Credit: @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, “If I don't respond it's because I'm not interested. If I am interested, I will email you back.” – “1) Don't send multiple emails and follow-ups. 2) Don't follow up your email with a call.” – “Do not call me 5 minutes later to follow up.” – “Don't follow up so many times. If we're not interested, we're not interested.” – “Unless I contact you asking for more information, don't follow up 2 and 3 times asking if I'm going to write about the story you sent me.” –
  56. @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  57. • Breaking news • Exclusive research • Emotional stories • Timeliness • Relevance • Data • New hook • A story • Interview opportunities • Data visualizations • Useful information • Innovative • Interesting analysis • Storytelling • Well-researched • Meets editorial mission • Original content • Solutions to problems • Engaging • Amusing • Useful insights • Humor • Unique angles • High-quality graphics @KelseyLibert, @RyMcGonagill, www.Frac.tlImage Credit:
  58. Research by Kelsey Libert,
  59. Leverage The Science Behind Great Content. Research by Kelsey Libert,