10 Tips for Effective Media Pitching


Unveiling the Secrets to Effective Media Pitching: Insights from USA TODAY Journalist Bryan Alexander

Students at UCLA were privileged to gain invaluable insights from USA TODAY’s features journalist, Bryan Alexander, regarding strategies for pitching media in the entertainment industry.

Below are 10 of the essential tips he recommends for putting together an effective media outreach:


  1. Develop a Unique Voice: Injecting life and storytelling into your writing is critical to keep the journalist—and ultimately their readers–engaged. Crafting compelling pitches that captivate the recipient’s attention will significantly increase your chances of success.
  2. Seize Opportunities: Stay updated in the 24/7 news cycle and respond quickly to breaking news to avoid missing out on valuable opportunities. Recognizing the importance of seizing opportunities and being responsive and proactive when they arise in today’s fast-paced world of PF, can make all the difference.
  3. Build Relationships: Building strong relationships with journalists is paramount in the field of PR. Invest time and effort in cultivating these connections. Engage with them genuinely, offer assistance, and demonstrate your value. Nurture these relationships to create a network that will support your future endeavors.
  4.  Effective CommunicationBeing respectful, concise, and clear in your communication is key to successful PR. Avoid rudeness and unnecessary demands in your interactions. Remember, honesty and transparency are essential for establishing trust with journalists.
  5. Avoid Blind Pitches: Blind pitches without prior knowledge of the recipient’s work or interests are less likely to succeed. Show genuine interest in the journalist’s previous work, recent articles, or topics of passion. This personal touch can make a significant difference in grabbing their attention.
  6.  Personalize PitchesTake the time to research and understand the journalist’s work and tailor your pitches accordingly. Personalized pitches that showcase your knowledge of the recipient’s interests and preferences are more likely to grab attention. By demonstrating your understanding of their niche, you increase the chances of a positive response.
  7. Subject Line SignificanceA well-crafted subject line can significantly influence whether your email gets prioritized for reading. Subject lines in email pitches should be clear and informative. Make it compelling, concise, and relevant to catch the journalist’s eye amidst a sea of emails.
  8. Quality Over Quantity: Focus on quality over quantity when pitching. Instead of mass distribution, target specific outlets and individuals who align with your client’s goals and interests. Tailor your pitches to the media landscape and the target audience to increase the chances of a favorable response.
  9. Research and Understanding: Thoroughly research and understand the target audience and the media landscape before pitching. This knowledge will enable you to deliver relevant and impactful pitches that resonate with journalists and their readers.
  10. Phone Calls and Email: While email and digital channels prevail in media communication, phone calls can still be effective for quick back-and-forth communication and drawing attention to important matters. However, always be mindful of the journalist’s preferred mode of communication and respect their preferences.

Most importantly, remember the media landscape is constantly evolving. Adapt to the changes, embrace new channels, and stay relevant.

“ENTERTAINMENT PR” is a five-week course taught at UCLA by instructors Joseph Schlosser (Schlosser Communications) and Cynthia Lieberman at LieberComm (cynthialieberman.com).

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