How can you make the best possible impression and actually get through to target reporters?

Follow these tips for pitching media on their top four preferred contact methods. Just remember, the personal preferences of individual journalists will vary.

  1. Email

Email remains by far the most preferred contact method for journalists. In fact, Cision’s 2015 Global Social Journalism Study found that 81 percent of journalists chose email over social media, newswires, snail mail or even face-to-face contact.

Start by focusing on the target reporter’s audience. What will resonate with their readers and feed their appetite for more news?

When in doubt, shorten your pitch. Always include appropriate links and contact information, but don’t send attachments or full-length press releases.

Lastly, think long and hard about your subject line. That’s your golden ticket. Make sure it shines without sounding too presumptuous or sales-focused.

  1. Phone

A third of journalists still prefer to be contacted by telephone, and in Finland, Germany, the U.K. and Australia telephone pitches are the second-most preferred method of contact.

Don’t wing your verbal pitches. Before making the call, practice what you’ll say with colleagues and ask for feedback.

Additionally, don’t give into the urge to ring up your target reporter every week. Those who call too often will quickly turn into a pest instead of a resource.

  1. Social Media

While over half of journalists believe social media has helped their productivity, only 22 percent of journalists currently turn to social media to receive pitches.

Avoid public pitches and respect Twitter direct messages, LinkedIn InMails and Facebook messages. Personalize your pitch and always offer to move the conversation to another medium.

Our basic rule of thumb? Email pitches should be short; social media pitches should be even shorter.

  1. Press Releases

Journalists turn to newswires to beef up their stories with data or new industry information. Many even source stories from press releases.

To make the most of a press release, think back to the inverted triangle formula and start with your key takeaway. Give reporters the details they’re looking for at the beginning, then build out the more general information later.

Include links to more in-depth information on your brand’s digital newsroom and always remember to include contact information.


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