formats

6.19 AmyStep 6: Email the pitch, personally addressing the reporter.

Now that the pitch has been written and the picture has been taken, it’s time to email it to the reporter. As I’ve said before, it’s important to personally address the reporter—don’t just send one email with three reporters in the bcc box. Taking the extra time to personalize goes a long way. Also, be sure to proofread. This is so extremely important because you want to look professional and you don’t want to lose a reporter because of a simple spelling error that you could have caught.

I’ve done a lot of reading on when the best time is to send a pitch to a reporter. You want to send when it has the highest probability of being read. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to send on a Friday afternoon because at that point the reporter probably just wants to get out of the office or may not see it at all. It’s also not a great idea to send on Monday mornings because when the reporter gets in on Monday, they’ll probably have a full inbox and you don’t want to be discarded because there are just too many emails to read. For these reasons I try to stick to Tuesday through Thursday to send my pitches, either morning (between 9 and 11ish) or early afternoon (between 1 and 3ish).

In a way, one of the main challenges is getting the reporter to open up your email and take the time to read your pitch. If you choose the right time, have a compelling subject line (don’t just use “Pitch” or “Hello So-and-so”) and a catchy lead, the odds just may be in your favor.

And then you wait. (That is the worst part.)