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How to Pitch to a Journalist 2

Posted by Jon Yongfook — 28 Jan 2013

We believe the best way to learn what journalists find interesting is to ask them directly! In this ongoing series, we ask well-known tech journalists from around the world what they look for in the perfect email pitch.

Elizabeth Tan

Editor at e27

Elizabeth writes about startups at e27. She is also co-founder of her own tech startup and has found herself increasingly interested in the startup ecosystem. Connect with her on Linkedin and Twitter.


What are the top 3 qualities of a good pitch email?

I think that the top 3 qualities would be relevancy, insight and newsworthiness. Naturally a story has to be newsworthy, but at the same time, it has to have relevance to the media that you're trying to reach out to. It would be even better if the news is not only relevant to the media, but to the journalist or editor themselves. This is because each writer has their own niche.

For example, in the case of e27, some writers focuses on time-sensitive news pieces, while others focus on more analytical pieces. Therefore, i think it is important to know that if you want your piece to have a higher chance of getting noticed, it needs to be sent to the correct journalist.

Is also has to be insightful even if it's a newsworthy piece to me. It has to add value to the readers and not the sender of the news. As much as it is a marketing strategy of the company, one should avoid letting the press release sound too narcissistic. I believe this can be done through insightfulness.

Lastly, newsworthiness is also a must. (:

What particular story angles do you look for or are interested by?

As mentioned, the story angles are always angles that will benefit our readers. So personally, I would choose an angle that the reader can feel like it will personally affect them. For example, instead of merely mentioning the news of an acquisition or funding, I would personally choose to talk about another angle such as how this funding will affect the industry, etc.

If a startup doesn't get a response, should they follow up?

If a startup doesn't get a response, they should follow up most definitely. But possibly from a different angle with a different story to push.

Thank you very much to Elizabeth Tan for her advice!
You can read Elizabeth's articles on e27 here.