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4 Ways Great Email Pitches Are Like Movie Trailers

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Photo by: Gramophone Maryland via Flickr

Crafting the perfect pitch is a fundamental skill for PR professionals. Create a message, tailor it to your audience, and include a call-to-action. Whether your audience is made up of journalists, website owners or fellow PR professionals, they receive dozens of email pitches a day. To make your pitch stand out, take a page from the entertainment industry – true experts at capturing the audience’s attention in three minutes or less and leaving them with a clear call-to-action.

Grab the audience’s attention immediately

Since it’s your first impression, strive to craft the perfect subject line. Avoid any spammy language and focus on a catchy way to hook the reader with a unique, personal, and informative subject line.

The best movie trailers open with an iconic moment or scene — these first few seconds are pivotal as the audience decides whether or not to invest time in watching the rest of the trailer. To avoid your email being ignored or deleted, front-load the important information in the beginning of the subject line so it can be seen immediately, even in a preview of the email.

Find your voice

Like a movie trailer, a great pitch has a distinct tone. Expect your reader to approach the pitch wanting to be surprised or impressed. Remember, they receive countless pitches a day so this is a way to make yours stand out.

People respond to a pitch that sounds like a real person — so write a pitch that actually sounds like you. Use your actual vocabulary to create a pitch that is conversational and friendly. When given the chance to be clever or witty, take it; your audience will appreciate a little humor (but don’t force it). No matter how you use your voice, be authentic and transparent.

Be timely

Coordinate your pitch with a relevant news story that your audience can relate to – even something they’ve written. Movie trailers are just one element of marketing blockbuster films; they’re well-timed with the release of the movie as well as other marketing tactics. Being timely with your pitch shows your audience that you have done your research and you are well-versed in the industry.

Don’t be afraid to take the time to do background reading before writing your pitch. This research will also lend to a more natural voice, since you’ll be more confident in the knowledge of whom and what you’re pitching.

Leave them wanting more

Your pitch should pique your audience’s curiosity without giving it all away. The best movie trailers give the audience just enough information to hook them without giving away the entire storyline. Allow the audience to take it from there – doing some of their own research, assembling questions and creating their own follow-up.

Your pitch’s call-to-action should be very clear. Do you want them to share your resource, participate in any interview, or write an editorial article? Be clear – think about those big bold words at the end of a movie trailer stating the date of the movie release – and give your audience enough direction so they’re not left trying to dissect what you want.

Watch any great movie trailer and identify these pitch essentials. Of course, the analogy doesn’t fit every case. Unlike some Hollywood trailers, your pitch should avoid hyperboles and any bait-and-switch tactics – what you say in your pitch should be completely honest and transparent. Following these four tips can help craft the kind of award-winning pitch that your audience will love.

If you’re looking for more advice on writing the perfect pitch, check Ashley Halberstadt’s post for a movie snack: “PR 101: Create A Delicious Email Pitch With the Pitchwich”.

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