Our earned media experts at PR-it have been in the game for decades, and we’ve seen it all. Check out the top 10 reasons we’ve uncovered that could trip up your media outreach efforts.

 

1) “Spray & pray” pitching

Firstly, stop that. Journalists despise being spammed with impersonal pitch emails that have nothing to do with what they write about.

 

2) Impersonal email pitches

Just including the journalist’s name isn’t going to cut it.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

3) Pre-approved pitch templates

This is not uncommon in highly regulated industries (e.g. pharma) where materials have to undergo a review process.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

4) Pitches too long

68% of journalists prefer pitches <200 words.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

5) Pitches sent at wrong time

67% of journalists prefer to receive pitches between 5am and 12pm in their time zone as early in the week as possible.

Source: Muck Rack 2022 State of Journalism Report

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

6) Stories not shareable

It’s not timely or trending. There’s no surprising data. There’s no image, infographic or video.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

7) Not offering an exclusive

Most companies/brands want as much coverage as possible. However, there is something to be said about quality over quantity.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

8) No follow-up (or stalking)

Journalists get LOTS of pitches. Even if they’re interested in your story, they forget to reply. Most coverage is booked on the follow-up.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

9) News isn’t news

Pitching milestones that the media will not view as newsworthy:

  • Wastes time/budget
  • Ruins relationships with journalists

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

10) Asking for “corrections”

When media coverage is earned (vs. paid), there’s no editorial control. Don’t request changes under the guise of a correction. Journalists will drop you like a bad habit.

The fix for a common earned media mistake made by a healthcare PR firm

 

Key takeaways

  1. Only pitch journalists right for your story
  2. Personalize pitches
  3. Make pitch templates flexible
  4. Write pitches <200 words
  5. Send pitches 5am-12pm on Mondays
  6. Make your story shareable
  7. Offer an exclusive
  8. Do 1 follow-up and DON’T stalk
  9. Try contributed articles vs. pitching milestones that aren’t newsworthy
  10. Only ask for real corrections, not favors