Pitching Pitfalls: Why Your Media Outreach Might Be Falling Flat

By October 13, 2023October 23rd, 2023Media Release, Pitching
Woman holding an open notebook, tapping a pen against her chin

You’ve nailed the art of how to write a killer media release (go you!), but despite your best efforts, your pitches aren’t getting picked up by the media. Frustrating, we know, but don’t let it dishearten you! Here, we explore some of the most common pitching pitfalls that might be causing your media outreach to fall flat.

1. The pitch just isn’t the right fit for the media outlet

It might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many pitches miss the mark because they haven’t done their homework. For instance, pitching a story about gardening tips to VOGUE magazine isn’t going to make the cut. Before hitting send on your pitch, make sure you’re taking the time to consume your target media to ensure you understand the tone, style and stories. That way, you can make sure you’re pitching topics and stories that suit their demographic.

2. The pitch is too advertorial

Remember, in the world of PR, you don’t pay for media coverage, you “earn it.” That’s why it’s called “earned media.” Too often, many people make the mistake of making pitches too advertorial and self-promotional. If you send journalists something that is basically an advertisement for how great your business, product or service is, they’re not going to run it! Ensuring that there is a genuinely newsworthy hook to the story, is the key.

3. Not considering the visuals

Visuals are often the linchpin for capturing audience’s attention and play a crucial part in telling a compelling story,but are often overlooked when pitching to the media. TV news crew can’t create a story without visual content, and a quality image can increase your presence in a newspaper. Most media outlets syndicate their stories online,which makes it more important than ever to consider your visuals from the start. In your pitch, let journalists know that there are visual opportunities for the story, or include a link to quality visuals approved for media use.

4. A lack of follow up

Journalists are time poor and usually working to deadlines. Depending on the media outlet, they are often receiving up to hundreds of emails per day, so a little nudge to remind them that the media release you sent never does any harm. In fact, based on my experience, many appreciate the reminder. I can’t stress enough how many times a simple phone call or follow-up email has been the difference between getting the story picked up or not. Use your judgement to determine how long to wait before following up, and if your story is time sensitive, same day follow up is generally okay.

5. “It’s not you, it’s me!” 

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, pitches just don’t get picked up. There are a variety of reasons pitches can go unacknowledged such as breaking stories taking precedence, or constraints on time and resources. This doesn’t mean your pitch lacks value; it’s merely part of the competitive media landscape!

In such cases, persistence and adaptability are the key. Don’t be disheartened by initial setbacks; instead keep refining your pitch, approach and, as I always say, practice makes perfect!

We hope these tips help you avoid future pitching pitfalls and leads to some valuable media coverage for you. Happy pitching!

Creative Concepts PR

0415 908 896
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Townsville, Queensland