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 this is stupid. Those tools are helpful, but a perfect pitch requires precision and research, and the best mental tool I’ve developed for this is the FART Method.
The FART Method.
Like a real fart, the FART Method stops everyone in their tracks, interrupting routine. Unlike a fart, the aroma is intoxicating to a journalist or editor because it helps connect your message in a meaningful way. This means you decrease the chance your perfect pitch email will be ignored.
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 will still lump you into the wrong category.
The perfect pitch email avoids baggage terms that could negatively connect you with a bad image. For example, “we’re the Uber of…” You don’t know what kind of baggage “Uber” has in someone else’s mind—maybe they were pissed about Prop 22 in California, maybe not. Either way, avoid the risk.
A – Accessible
A is for accessible. Can they look up the right 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, or is there a strong online “paper trail” so they can verify who you are and trust you immediately?
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 will 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.)
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 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 enormity of cancer awareness or black history pitches would blow your mind—be more strategic.
Before you 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’m give you some free perspective.