What is your Pitch Sitch?

According to a recent study by Propel (a national media database technology firm) that analyzed more than one million pitches users sent to journalists through its platform, journalists open the majority of the media pitches that they receive at 11 a.m. versus any other time of day, with the period they opened most emails in general falling between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

From both the public relations and media side of the coin, that makes sense, even with time differences and morning show folks up far earlier and many freelancers up much later.

However, it also reported that statistically journalists respond to roughly only 3.27% of the pitches they receive.

That one threw me for a loop. Seems a bit low, right?

So, I put my “member of the media hat” to test the numbers.

In looking at strict pitches and news releases over a seven day span, I average about 75 per day (not including weekends). Approximately 30 of them come before 9 a.m., with almost all others between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Then, there are always a handful that come in from about 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

I open and read, on average, about 40 each day, or just over 50%.

How many did I truly respond to interested or with a pithy comeback or even advice on how to better target the pitch? That would be about 10 per day, or nearly 15%. And while the number was not that 3% number – likely because I write primarily in Arizona and do not get the outrageous number of pitches a national media member might get from all over the world – I was surprised it wasn’t higher.

So, why wasn’t it higher?

My “deleted” folder held the key to this information, which I think is valuable for anyone who pitches the media. Deleted emails fell into one or more of the following categories:

  • It was sent from Constant Contact or another generic email service that clearly blasted the same info to 500 other people willy nilly.
  • It was on a topic I very clearly do not and would not ever cover, something a quick google search or even reading my info on any media database would show.
  • The sender is a complete stranger with no context as to why they are reaching out.
  • The sender sent massive files versus using links to download files – or they sent materials as PDFs versus in the body of emails or even a word document.
  • The email was aggressive in nature (yep, still happens).
  • It got my name wrong, either because the email wasn’t sent correctly from the database system OR because the person didn’t look long enough to see my name is Alison, not Allison.

Given all of the above, in order to be part of that 3% (or 15%, in my case), rather than the above, do this. And this. And definitely this. And know the difference between these.

Effort counts and is always noticed.


Written by
at Aug 20, 2021

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