Recently something incredible happened.
On behalf of a client, my colleague Bryan (pictured left) pitched a ‘story’ – via email to specific national media journalists.
Extraordinarily, within just 10 minutes we received positive replies from FOUR.
Such an immediate responses from leading national media journalists, including multi-award-winners, was unprecedented.
How, and why, did this happen? Well, it was all in the email subject line which, in this case, was: “Joost van der Westhuizen interview?”
If you are not familiar with rugby, Joost van der Westhuizen is a legendary South Africa rugby player. He was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, and was making what was believed to be his last trip to England to visit one of our clients (a leading neurological care provider).
Our email hit the bulls eye. Our targeted journalists would love such an opportunity to speak with such a rugby star now devoting his life to raising funds for Motor Neurone Disease research.
All in all the pitch resulted in staggering positive media coverage for the client, including coverage on BBC national news, and features in the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Independent, and ITV coverage.
The PR lesson in this is that you must always make sure your email subject line is spot on – it can be the make or break of a media pitch.
Busy journalists will delete emails purely on what’s in an email subject line.
The email subject line is the micro-second opportunity to secure PR success.
Plus your email content to targeted journalists must , within the first few words, clearly provide the “story” that media live and breathe for.
With the Joost van der Westhuizen email pitch we made it clear within the first two paragraphs that, sadly, his visit to our client’s neurological care centre was likely to be the last chance British media would have to meet and interview him.
Pitching to journalists often requires a subtle blend of telephone, email, and social media tactics. But pitch right with a great ‘story’, results can be staggering.
* Featured photo by CEB Imagery