Our super-simple rule for killer pitches

Fact: Members of the media are sometimes getting over 200 PR-related pitches throughout the day. And while the bulk of those emails are generic or simply contain a press release and not much else (read: not very interesting or likely to move forward), there are a few that will catch a weary editor’s eye.

One of the secrets to a successful pitch? Keep it short. Just like you and I don’t always want a multiple paragraph email sent our way, neither do members of the media.

With that in mind, we created a special pitching rule for Sparrow members and clients: The 4×4 Rule.

The 4×4 Rule is simple:

Each pitch should have 4 distinct sections, with no components over 4 sentences long

Here’s how we break it down:

Section 1:

  •      Say hello
  •      Let them know why you’re reaching out (editorial calendar, rogue pitch, etc.),
  •      Give a quick example of how you’re familiar with their publication

Real-life example:

Hi Kim,

I noticed you are focusing on ‘weekend getaways’ in your February edition of San Diego Magazine, and I’d love for you to consider Boise, Idaho in the feature. I loved your recent piece on Jackson Hole, Wyo., and I think you’ll find the “wild west” spirit of Boise similar in many ways (but also totally different).

Section 2:

  •      Quick explanation of what makes your destination unique
  •      How it is convenient to their readers
  •      Why they should consider it

Real-life example:

There are multiple non-stop flights daily from San Diego to the Boise Airport, making it an easy trip for San Diegans to get their hands on world-class wine, ski a top-rated mountain and gaze at some seriously Instagram-worthy winterscapes.

Section 3:

  •      Bullet out 2-4 features of your destination
  •      Keep each bullet brief – no more than 4 sentences each
  •      Give concrete examples

o   Paste the actual URL and then hyperlink (in case link gets broken)

Real-life example:

  •      The Springs: Located in Idaho City – an old mining town about 45 minutes outside Boise – these natural hot springs are a can’t-miss when visiting the area. You can either soak in their state-of-the-art main pool or hot tub, or book a private tub for relaxing. They also have a sauna, as well as luxurious changing rooms. Stop at Trudy’s Kitchen a little ways down the Highway after (or before) your soak – their Huckleberry Cheesecake is the stuff of legend! thespringsid.com

Section 4:

  •      Offer to send any images
  •      Thank them for their time/consideration
  •      Include your website URL (pasted and hyperlinked)

Real-life example:

Thank you so much for your time and consideration of Boise for your February 2019 edition, please let me know if you need any additional information or images – we are happy to oblige! Please also check out our website at visitsouthwestidaho.org.

And there you have it. Our simple formula will have your pitches getting noticed in no time!