Creating the perfect pitch email to achieve press or to publish a piece you wrote, isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Even seasoned PR pros blast thousands of journalists using popular tools like MuckRack or Meltwater but hear me out: this is stupid. Those tools are really helpful, but a perfect pitch email requires precision and research. The best mental tool I’ve developed for this is the FART Method.
The FART Method.
Like a real fart, it will stop everyone in their tracks, interrupting their routine. Unlike a fart, however, the aroma is intoxicating to a journalist or editor because it connects your message to them in a meaningful way. This means you decrease the chance your perfect pitch email will be ignored. Ok, so here’s the FART Method.
F – Fresh
F is for fresh. Is your message truly fresh or unique? If the journalist or reader has heard it before or thinks they have heard it before, game over. Even if your pitch or piece has a unique angle, using jargon or baggage terms (we’re the Uber of) may lump you into the wrong category.
You need to embrace the fact that a journalist is never going to accept a pitch that’s not fresh. You may think you’re casting a wider net, but you’re just burning bridges. It’s hard to get outside of your own head, but you need to bounce your ideas off objective folks who will give it to your straight.
A – Accessible
A is for accessible. Can they look up accurate information easily? Is it easy to understand? Are you providing a high-quality photo of image assets? Do you provide visual assets to help them understand? Are you easy to reach out to? Is there a strong online “paper trail” so they can verify who you are and trust you immediately? Do you return your damn email? (Don’t get me started.)
Make every step of the process really easy for the journalist. If you write the most perfect pitch email the world has ever seen, but don’t follow through, you lose.
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R – Relevant
R is for relevant. Pitching a home repair angle to a science writer at The Wall Street Journal is a guaranteed waste of your time and their time (unless it’s a super clever angle). As a published writer myself, I constantly get irrelevant pitches.
Because I keep a clean inbox and I’m efficient, I blacklist people who do this often. The best way to be relevant is to research the journalist/editor, know what they write about, and even use their own vocabulary when pitching them. (Even if they pick up on this, it just garners more respect.) If you don’t have time for them, they won’t find time for you.
T – Timely
T is for timely. You can have a fresh, relevant story, and even provide exclusive photos or assets, and completely fail because it wasn’t the right time. The perfect pitch email about a better charcoal grill to Better Homes and Gardens at the end of summer is likely to be buried or forgotten.
Similarly, your brilliant startup or new product is likely to get sidelined or forgotten if Google, Facebook, or Apple makes a big announcement. Know what’s going on in the world and pitch when it’s relevant and quiet. I’ve had some major success pitching journalists before the Holidays when guests for live shows are scarce.
One last thing here, avoid the trap of pitching themed months and days. The magnitude of cancer-awareness or black history pitches would blow your mind—be more strategic.
GO write your perfect pitch email.
After you understand how to get a journalist to cover your story, which angles to take, and how to follow up, the FART method is a solid way to write the perfect pitch email.
One last thing: if you want me to take a peek before you send your pitch: sign up below and reply to my welcome email. I’ll give you some free perspective.