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!

Want some help in coming up with your 2020 media strategy to send those pitches? Download our FREE 2020 publicity calendar, chock full of over 100 story prompts and important dates. This is a game-changer for your media planning!