From The Desk: Pitch Perfect

September 14, 2015

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We’re interrupting our regularly published Instagram and Snapchat fashion week coverage to bring you a post from the desk, and I couldn’t be happier.


I never thought I would say that my desk (Lilly Pulitzer redesign still in progress) would be considered my haven but for all intents and purposes today, it’s heel and lip stain free. Flip flops and/or bare feet, mandatory.

Though we’re in the throes of Fashion Week there’s still a small matter of a day job to also rock at this week. With many publications heads down in shows and presentations, it gives us PR pro’s a moment to pause and pull together plans for post fashion week pitching.

So since its Monday, and we’re all about PR knowledge bombs to start your week off right, let’s talk about the art of the pitch. Pitching is the one time you get to truly sell not only your client but yourself. You’re job is compounded by the fact that PR is a business built on relationships and the more chances you give yourself to nurture those connections the more of a media wiz and less of a media wimp you’ll become. Recently an editor friend of mine forwarded a pitch to me from another PR company. (Like insider trading, wolf of wall street sh!t.) Her reason for the Ctrl + F – the scary pitch that came with it. Not only did this PR pro have the wrong job title, but the pitch was a novel and the products were warming socks and an LED flashlight. Consider this pitch the case study for every tip I’m about to bestow upon this post.

The long/short of the faux-pas, this PR pro could have taken 15 more minutes to set herself up for a successful pitch. Without knowing it – she got the editor to open the e-mail and react to it, just not in a good way. So how can you go from being passed over for placement to “pitch perfect” – just like this:

  1. GET ATTENTION – Refinery 29 kills it with their baiting headlines/subject lines. Make like R29 and ask yourself – would I click? That subject line better have some klout since editors inboxes are FLOODed with e-mails daily. The best way to create one of these subject lines? Make sure it leaves your e-mail target asking – Who? What? Why? How? (Leave the when’s for those amazing invites!) Sometimes, when your subject line incites the most basic of questions you’ll “get the click.”
  1. KEEP IT COOL – maybe 1 exclamation point MAX in the whole pitch. No one likes an over-eager beaver in life and certainly not in e-mail. Limit your words – word vomit doesn’t have to happen especially when this isn’t just a one off e-mail. If you do it right you’ll build the relationship where you all are tuning into the same brain-channel and one line e-mails suffice ending in a “I gotchu girl!”
  1. KNOW YOUR TARGET – Our lovely PR girl above clearly missed this step. The “fashion” editor mentioned above had a different title, find it! There’s no excuse for name misspelling or getting his/her title wrong. And though our PR girl was “pushing flashlights” and our editor had an emphasis in tech, unless that “one lit wonder” fit perfectly in her Céline clutch that she just instagrammed (TIP: Always check there for great personal conversation starters) then forget it – she’s just not that into you, or your flashlight.
  1. GET TO THE POINT – Now I have to admit even my own PR teams at the best of the best tend to forget this one. Keep it short and sweet. Ain’t no body got time for your novel of a life story pitch. You’re pitch should be 5 – 8 sentences max. Follow this formula:
  1. Openner – this is that personal line we talked about
  2. The Why – why I’m writing YOU specifcally
  3. What – What are you writing them about – make this really rich!
  4. Why Care – be careful here, tell them about differences, not why they can’t live without it – they’ve been fine till this point – you didn’t e-mail a dead man did you?
  5. The Give – Can you share photos? An interview? What will get them the “better” story?
  6. You Game? – Ask after your pitch “you interested?”  Do they want to take you on an e-mail date? (If its an e-date does that make coverage the bedroom? FFT)
  1. FOLLOW UP – Just like getting into college, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Follow-up. Keep those e-mails even shorter and abide by the 3 “date” rule, 2 e-mails and a phone call, if they aren’t engaging with you after all that – they are just not that into you.

What are some other tips that you use to write the perfect pitch? And no I’m not talking about embedded gif’s of Rebel Wilson. Although this would certainly make me laugh…

Pitch Perfect - PR

Here’s to a great start to the week and more NYFW bananas coming to you tomorrow!

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