I have been really fortunate to have had and continue to have tremendous success when pitching the media (appearing in over 250+ media outlets, including national television and publications). I’ve also had amazing success with being able to interview top people in the media to get their perspective on what is good pitching and what is bad pitching. I’ve interviewed people from the Oprah Winfrey Show, Rachael Ray, Parade Magazine, FOX, the Washington Post, and more. Interestingly, there was a common theme in what journalists didn’t want to see in the pitches they receive.

According to journalists, below are the three of the biggest mistakes people make when pitching the media.

1) Making it about YOU

A journalist’s job is to entertain his or her audience. They need to provide a story that is entertaining, newsworthy, and a value to the readers. Pitching a journalist stories about how great you, your service, your brand, or your product are, is an easy way to get them NOT to respond.

Pitching an entertaining, newsworthy, or outside-of-the-box story that a journalist’s audience would be interested in - but listing you as a source, example, or basis of the story, versus a “me-me-me” story provides a win-win. The journalist gets a great story and you get the benefit of being listed in the article with your name and the name of your business, product or service.

2) Being too wordy

The next sure-fire way to not get an email read is to make it too wordy. When I interviewed a FOX anchor recently, she said to me, “Some publicists make it easy for me. They send me these really long emails with no breaks and I just hit delete without even reading it.”

Think of how you feel when you get a long-winded email. Do you want to even read it? I dread those! Now, imagine you are a journalist and you get 500-1000 emails per day. Which ones are you going to read? The one that is 50 sentences all in a big run-on email or the one that is short, succinct, has stats and facts and includes important information bolded so it pops out?

Your job as someone pitching a story is to make it easy for the journalist. Make sure all they have to do is give your email a quick scan and know right away what you are pitching.

3) Pitching the wrong person

Do you get so excited when you find a media contact? When you actually have a name and email address? YIPEE, right? Well, not so fast. I am the first person to admit that when I first started doing my own publicity, I would get so excited if I found a contact in the media that I would pitch my idea to anybody. I assumed they would just pass it along to the right person. I can’t imagine how many people I ticked off along the way. Especially now that I know how many emails they get in a day. Do you know that journalists in a top market can get 1000 pitches via email per day?

Respect the journalist’s time and only pitch your story idea to the journalist, editor, or producer who covers that topic. If you have a fashion accessory, don’t pitch it to the food editor. If you wrote a business book, don’t pitch it to the Rachael Ray Show. If your political views are very liberal, you might not want to pitch yourself to FOX News. I’m sure you get the point. Make sure you are sending your idea to the right person at the media outlet.

To have success when pitching the media,

1) Pitch a newsworthy story
2) Keep your pitch concise
3) Send it to the right person

These three steps will put you light years ahead of your competition when pitching the media. It will also move you to the front of the line in the possibility of having a journalist use a story that includes your product, service or brand.

You can also visit www.prforanyone.com and join our community for more tips and resources for getting your business massive exposure using free publicity.

Christina Daves is the best selling author of PR for Anyone™ 100+ Affordable Ways to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business. She has appeared in over 250 media outlets including the Steve Harvey Show, Dr. Oz, local affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Success, Inc., Bloomberg Radio, and more. Christina and her clients have generated over 7 figures in sales from free publicity. She is known as the "DIY-PR Maven" and advises and teaches business owners how to generate publicity for their business to attract new customers, gain credibility, and generate more revenue.

Author's Bio: 

Christina Daves is a serial entrepreneur who started a business and needed to attract national exposure for it. With no budget for advertising or PR, she was forced to teach herself the art of free publicity and appeared in over 50 media outlets in less than one year including national television, radio and publications.

She is also the best selling author of PR for Anyone™ 100+ Affordable Ways to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business.

Online Bio - www.ChristinaDaves.com