Pitching Your Perfect Press Release

Last post, I talked about how building relationships with journalists and bloggers is crucial to a successful pitch, but what does that pitch actually look like? How do pick to whom you will send your pitch? Well the great news is, with new media there are several great new ways to send out pitches online and to find new contacts.
The online media pitch is becoming wildly popular. Instead of stuffy, hard copy news releases, online releases allow for links to salient information and highlight important points through mixed media. These online pitches can also be distributed easily through e-mail or housed on websites which specialize in pairing pitches with journalists.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is one such website. Users can sign up as either a source or a reporter. Reporters submit queries to the HARO site which in turn e-mails sources that could potentially provide good information on that subject. Sources can submit pitches to reporters in their field after receiving the e-mailed query. The website certainly isn’t a replacement for good old-fashioned legwork and stick-to-itiveness, but it is a good way to supplement your existing channels. It can take a while to get integrated into the site, but once you do it is a valuable resource. Heather Whaling has some good tips on how to use HARO.

Pitch Engine lets users search releases by topic.
Also take a look at PitchEngine.com. Pitch Engine allows you to upload a multimedia pitch and then share it via social media and e-mail. The site automatically shares your release on major search engines. Users on Pitch engine can filter news releases by topic and industry, so your organization can be found by the people who matter. Readers can even subscribe to your news feed via RSS.
When it comes to the pitch itself, there are a few sites Press Release Grader that will, no surprise here, grade your pitch for you. Press Release Grader takes your pitch and generates a basic list of statistics as well as tips for improvement for content and links.
Online pitching can be exciting, but keep in mind that your news releases should remain professional. Also be mindful of what information should go out on a press release that could potentially reach hundreds of reporters. Sometimes less is more, and bloggers and journalists will appreciate exclusive content. Just take a few moments to decide what will work best for you.