Small Business Hub

Responding to a journalist’s request for information is the best way to secure earned media placements, which are extremely valuable for your small business marketing strategy.

A Graphic of a Desk with strings of social and communication icons hanging above it.
A Graphic of a Desk with strings of social and communication icons hanging above it.

If you have ever composed a pitch to a journalist, you know that the results can range from good (instant, enthusiastic responses) to bad (no replies after hammering away at the keyboard). But never fear; we’re here to help. Check out our top tips before you compose your next pitch.

Before you pitch…

Be present

Making sure your pitch gets to the right person is half the battle. Luckily, Qwoted’s email alerts detail real-time requests from reporters writing about your line of work. This helps keep you up to date around which journalists are covering your industry and is directly connected to receiving a positive response, so be diligent about checking your inbox.

Be willing to help

No matter how well disguised you think your motives might be, any journalist worth their salt will see straight through your spiel if all you’re interested in is self-promotion. You want to secure a media opportunity for your small business the right way, where both parties benefit.

Be positive

Keep in mind before you pitch that a reporter could determine not to use your expertise. This can be disheartening and make taking the time to pitch seem wasteful, but remember that those who fail are those who do not try. Be aware and respectful of both possibilities.

When writing your pitch…

Introductions matter, but keep it succinct

There is a fine line between being memorable and being bothersome. Don’t overuse puns and wordplay, and refrain from overly quirky ice breakers and anecdotes, as they often have the adverse effect. You should get to your point quickly; reporters often don’t have much time to spare, and will appreciate your straightforwardness.

Make it personal

Address the reporter by name, reference their work, and tie in how valuable your expertise would be to their story. When introducing yourself, keep the focus on their work. Avoid explaining the intricacies of your background or sprinkling in complicated terminology.

Proofread and spell check everything

When you’ve finished writing, go through your email with a fine-toothed comb, looking for any mistakes. Repeat this step twice. Typos are rarely forgivable to writers, so avoid falling at the final hurdle. Ensure that what you’ve written is a flawless, perfectly flowing pitch that is easy to digest and skim read. If spelling and grammar aren’t your forte, you can rely on an online tool such as Grammarly or HemingWay.