Standing out in the sea of pitches that journalists get can be a struggle! Emails upon emails arrive in their inboxes, clamoring for their attention and bombarding them with a never-ending stream of ideas. Unfortunately, not all of them are good ideas. As a result, journalists must be picky about which pitches they choose to review with their valuable time. How can you make sure that your pitch stands out from the crowd? Start with a subject line that’s perfectly crafted to grab their attention.
Keep it Short. Keep it Clear.
Journalists don’t have a lot of time to read and re-read subject lines to make sure they’re understanding the topic of the pitch. Make sure your subject lines are short and that they concisely reflect what the journalist will find upon opening your email. Subject lines that have a lot of descriptive words or ramble might be passed over by because journalists don’t have time to decipher what they’re getting. A short and clear subject line will get the click.
Know Your Journalist
The same subject line might not be the right fit for every journalist. Even though you might be pitching the same story to many outlets, it could behoove you to change the subject line for those journalists with whom you have an established relationship. If you know a specific journalist would lean toward a specific story angle, update your subject line so that it speaks to them. This will increase the likelihood of your email getting opened and also receiving a reply.
It’s Okay to Be Funny or Even Punny
It doesn’t have to be strictly business when it comes to subject lines. Show your client’s personality and let their brand’s voice shine through with an interesting or catchy subject line. Journalists are people too! If they think the subject line is funny or clever, they might be tempted to open your email and read more.
Time to Sample
Here are some examples from our very own pitches! These subject lines performed well because they followed some simple ways to attract attention:
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What’s the Subject?
Start getting those necessary opens with subject lines that journalists want to see. Make sure they are short and clear, giving the reader a good idea of what they’ll find on the inside. Tailor your subject lines to the journalist or outlet if you can and remember that it’s okay to let some personality shine through. If you notice you’re having trouble getting the attention of a journalist, adjust your tactic. Maybe short and direct doesn’t hit, but perhaps a pun will spark a smile and earn you an open? Keep track of your successful subject lines for each media outlet and use that data to create future success.