How Long Should My Email Pitch Be?

Last week, Justin Liggin and I attended a Muck Rack webinar with PR coach Michael Smart who attempted to answer the age-old question: How long should my email pitch be?

He analyzed 100 pitches that earned top placements from the last three years in publications such as the New York Times, Wallstreet Journal, and TIME Magazine to reveal must-know insights, including:

  • How to eliminate unnecessary words from your pitch
  • When longer pitches perform better
  • How to make a long pitch feel briefer
  • Key points your pitch should cover
  • How to grab attention
  • Perfecting the flow of your pitch

Smart recommended about 150 words to be the “one-size-fits-all” email pitch length, however, longer pitches that are effective can be justified.

One scenario for when longer pitches might be appropriate is when an abstract concept is shaped into a newsworthy angle, such as introducing a new idea. In contrast, shorter pitches typically share an announcement or piece of content, such as a survey of college student spending habits or a list of the seven best Mexican restaurants in Arizona.

Smart broke down each email pitch into categories and analyzed why this was important to include, covering a range of topics and examples. My biggest takeaway was to be sure to customize pitches based on the subject matter as well as what will pique the target reporter’s interest. Ultimately, there is no magic recipe to email pitching—but there are definitely a variety of formulas.

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at Mar 1, 2023

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