My previous two posts on how to get press for your photography focused on, first, deciding who your audience is and what’s your story, and then, second, who to pitch to, how to hone your pitch list to a distinct, thoughtful set and how to obtain the contact information of people you want to pitch to.
Here is the final set of steps to consider as you try getting publicity for your photo project:
Create Your Pitch
- Keep it to two or three short paragraphs, and no more than 300 words in length.
- In the first paragraph, explain why you are contacting them.
- In the second paragraph, tell your story and describe your project.
- In the last paragraph, explain how they can obtain more information about you and your project, as well as how they can contact you should they be interested.
- Write in a way that reflects your voice and personality. This pitch is as much about you as it is your project. You want to sound like yourself.
- Use plain, easy-to-read fonts, sizes and colors.
- Make a personal pitch to each person individually.
- Use a concise and precise email subject line that clarifies the pitch and entices them to read it. Make sure it’s not too long to see in its entirety when accessed on a mobile device.
- Let the writer know you’ve researched their area of expertise and their work. If possible, refer to a piece they wrote that you particularly liked.
- If they have outlined how they would like to be pitched, follow those directions precisely.
- Provide links to previous work and your background.
- Avoid attachments. Instead, supply them with a file-sharing link (Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.).
- Conclude your pitch with a signature that includes your contact information, website and social media handles.
Send Your Pitch And Then Follow Up
The best times to reach your contacts are earlier in the week, on a weekday and around mid-morning. That’s because you’ll want to send the email when the writer is most likely to be checking emails. So, unless they write for weekend publications, evenings and weekends tend not to be the best time to try and reach them.
Then, you’ll want to follow up after your initial pitch. Reply to your original email so it’s evident what your response is in regard to. Let them know you know they are probably busy, and include any new relevant information that might strengthen your pitch, should you have it. If they don’t respond to your follow up, realize that it’s quite common. Don’t be afraid to contact them again in a few weeks or months, when you’re pitching a new project or if you’ve got a new angle. Stay cool, collected and professional.
If They Do Respond, Reply Back
If they do respond to your pitch, be sure to reply back quickly and thoughtfully. Ask them their deadline and if they know the date the piece might go live. Also, inquire if they can let you know the focus of the news story, article or video segment.
Be sure they have all the information they need, and offer to be of assistance should they need subsequent materials or details.