Whether you’re at a boutique agency, large firm or in-house, it’s likely that part of your job involves pitching media.

We’ve all been in situations where it’s been tough to get attention for clients, especially if there’s other breaking news, a wild political cycle like the one we’re currently in, or a lack of news to share.

How can you make sure you create quality pitches that can land you major hits, even for the smallest clients? Here’s what we recommend.

1. Create Stories Around your Client

Some may argue that knowing the difference between pitching your client/company and pitching a newsworthy story is the key differentiator between a publicist and a great publicist.

Even if you have the newest, hippest product or service, don’t assume the reporter will think it is, too.

For your next pitch, don’t just type up a quick note and attach/paste a press release. Consider tying your news back to other relevant happening, news or trends. Your chances of garnering attention will be better than simply demonstrating your product/service and hoping for the best.

2. Know Who You Are Talking To

It seems inconceivable that this still happens, but one of the biggest, most consistent pet peeves we hear from journalists relates to publicists who do not know what the reporters cover.

Some of this can be chalked up to time constraints or even sheer laziness. Using old media lists or tools, like Cision and Meltwater, to help find contacts without vetting each person is a big no-no. While those tools can help get you started, the reality is that they’re not foolproof.

It’s important to take the extra step and do the research. Identify a writer’s beat and consider him or her by checking whether this person has previously written something similar or is prone to write about your story. Be sure to check them out on their social media profiles as well.

Trust us; reporters will thank you and even credit you for doing the correct research.

3. Use Captivating Subject Lines

The saying “never judge a book by its cover” is discredited when it comes to subject lines. This is your first impression, and it’s important to make an appealing one. In fact, 69 percent of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Yikes!

Avoid this from happening to you by using smart subject lines that speak to your audience or, in this case, the reporter. Keeping it short, sweet and to the point works best.

Oh, and don’t make it ambiguous, either. Here are some best practices for writing catchy email subject lines.

4. Use Statistics or Research Within Your Pitch

Sure, you may think this works better for B2B clients, but don’t weed it out of your consumer-facing accounts.

Reporters and publications love statistics. It adds to the story and makes your case stronger.

Don’t worry if you don’t have research of your own to use. Just hyperlink something credible that proves your point. (I repeat, credible.)

In Summary

So many elements are in play when you try to generate positive earned media, and though every journalist is different, following these four key tips could help you see more results. Happy pitching!