Storenvy Store Owner Inspiration & Resources

Be Your Own Publicist: 7 Ways to Make Your Pitch Stand Out

Today, there are more opportunities than ever to share your story. Press can be a major catalyst for sales. Amy Flurry, a former Lucky Magazine editor, has spent years receiving pitches. Rather than keep her secrets to herself, she wrote a book to help creative entrepreneurs craft pitches that get results. Recipe for Press: Pitch Your Story Like the Pros & Create a Buzz is available on Amazon or atRecipeforPress.com.
Amy has shared a list of seven tips just for Storenvy store owners. With a little time and her insider pitching know-how, here’s how you can grab an editor’s attention every time!
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1. Get to know the publication before you pitch
Read a couple of issues of a magazine or a few weeks content of a blog before you submit a pitch. Print and online publications are formatted similarly every day/week/month, and getting to know their formula will help you identify a great fit. Does your product look like it could be plugged on to the page you’re pitching? If so, then it’s likely a good fit. Similarly, don’t expect an editor to cover services when their pages are all product-driven. Do your homework first before reaching out.
Photo: Anthology Magazine’s regular Market Report feature.
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2. Personalize the press release
Always address the editor or blogger by name (and make sure you spell it correctly). Each section of the magazine is compiled by a different editor. Though their byline is generally listed on the page, it’s a good idea to call the magazine’s editorial department to be sure you’re putting the pitch in the right hands. Ask for an intern or an editorial assistant and simply confirm the correct contact for the page you want to pitch. (Note: do not pitch your idea over the phone, you are only double-checking the contact.) If you don’t bother to find out who you should approach, then the editor won’t feel obligated to read it.
Photo: Like all printed pubs, San Francisco’s 7×7 Magazine lists its full editorial staff.
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3. Keep it simple … and short
Gone are the days of the impersonalized, pages-long press release. Today’s pitch reads more like a short letter with an introduction, a hook, mention of what makes the idea timely and contact information. The other half of the page is devoted to a great picture or two. A concise, well-written paragraph with a great image, embedded into the email (read below), is usually enough for an editor to know if they want to move forward. If it’s not, they’ll go directly to your website to learn more.
Photo: This email pitch included a poem written just for the blog and the author’s name!
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4. Make it new!
The one word an editor wants to see in every pitch is “new.” Why? New material fuels issue after issue. Magazines want to be the first to feature a new product or service or destination. If what you’re pitching is not new, then it is your job to tie the idea or product into a new trend, a holiday or current event.
Photo: Editors good gift guide material, like in this holiday one from DailyCandy
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5. Include one or two great pictures
The very first thing the editor will look for in your pitch is the picture you send with it. If they connect with the image, they will drop back and read the pitch. Most editors know if they can use your product the second their eye hits the photo. So be sure to send crisp, well-lit images against a white backdrop to help your pitch rise to the top of the submission pile. And know that editors don’t open attachments. You want to embed the low-res (72 dpi) image into the email instead of sending large files that slow or clog an inbox.
Photo: A well-photographed product from The Wanderlust.
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6. Give your pitch a header or subject
Like a handrail for your idea, this gives editors—at a glance—the skinny on the story you have in mind. A little teaser for a bright umbrella, like “Cool Wet Weather Gear Under $25,” helps the editor see that your product could fit in a number of themed roundups or sections. It also signals to the editor that you have done your part to make a good fit for their publication and that you are ready for press.
Photo: A Real Simple roundup
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7. Remember the golden rule of pitching
Editors don’t need to hear your entire story. And if I’m honest, they don’t have the time to. They are only interested in the sliver of your story that matters to their publication and, more specifically, the pages they write and produce. Help them make that connection quickly and you’ll land press quickly and across a number of different platforms.
Photo: Keep it Simple Stupid print from Workerman on Storenvy