Email is still preferred to social media when pitching journalists “because it allows you to really control your message and provide details,” says Jessica Nielsen, VP, communications & marketing, Lockheed Martin, who, with Allison Robins, global director of PR, Zumba Fitness, led an in-depth session on email communications at PR News’ Digital PR Conference in Miami in June. While emailed pitches should be “as personalized as you can,” some cutting and pasting may slip in. “Make sure you don’t inadvertently send an email with personal details to the wrong person (i.e. opening with Hey, Robert….to Chris),” Nielsen warns. Timing is critical. “Find out when reporters prefer to be pitched,” she says. “Don’t bother them right before their 5 p.m. deadline.” And avoid pitching a press release. “They can get a release from the wire. Provide them something more—like an interview with a great subject matter expert or an opportunity to see your product up close and personal.” Keep pitches short and direct, in bulleted format.
This article originally appeared in the August 26, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.