TOP SHELF READS [Topic: Common Mistakes When Pitching to the Media]

19 January 2023 Bec Derrington

Last year, I started putting together lists of 'top shelf' articles that stopped me in my tracks (and compelled me to read on) over the course of a month. 

I'm now going to change things up a bit, by putting together lists of insightful articles on a relevant topic (not limited to a particular time period) to share with you.

So my 13 Top Shelf Reads on the topic of: 'Common Mistakes When Pitching to the Media' are summarised below. (Links to enjoy the article in full are also provided.)


5 Lessons We've Learned From Pitching Journalists

Source: (

Effectively pitching journalists is a skill that takes time to hone, but there are some tactics to consider while you learn...


  1. Don't Pester Them
  2. Create Meaningful Relationships
  3. Don't Take Nos Personally
  4. Speak and Write Clearly
  5. Be Compassionate 

The biggest difficulties and most frequent mistakes in media pitching

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Getting a story published can be a game-changer. It takes time to master selling your story to an outlet or journalists. You might have the best story in the world, but if your pitch doesn't make an impact this won't matter...


  1. Targeting the wrong audience
  2. Giving too much information
  3. Not being flexible
  4. Not standing out
  5. Submitting the full story
  6. Promoting instead of pitching
  7. Not researching the journalist
  8. Lack of appeal
  9. Poor timing
  10. Too much jargon
  11. Too little or too many follow-ups 

The 10 dos and don'ts of pitching to journalists and bloggers

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Want to get free PR coverage in the media? Read the 10 dos and don'ts of pitching to journalists and bloggers, and make sure you avoid common mistakes...


  1. Don't push for coverage
  2. Do check who you're speaking to
  3. Do respect a journalist or blogger's deadline
  4. Don't promise what you can't deliver
  5. Do your research
  6. Do cut the bull crap
  7. Don't expect us to take your word for it
  8. Don't expect glowing coverage
  9. Do treat bloggers like journalists
  10. Don't underestimate the power of bloggers   

Four Common Media Pitching Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Source: (

Outline: Grammar and spelling count…

  1. Language Mistakes
  2. Getting the [Insert Journalist Name Here] Wrong
  3. Outreaching at Inappropriate Times
  4. Your Story is Way Too Irrelevant 

21 mistakes you're making when you pitch to the news media

Source: (

Pitching stories to the media is key to good public relations, but requires some considerations you might not think off. See what mistakes can be made...


  1. Pre-pitching mistakes
  2. Editorial calendar mistakes
  3. Distribution mistakes
  4. Other mistakes 

Pitching Errors: How Not to Pitch

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In this round-table discussion, seven editors share horror stories, pet peeves, and practical advice for pitching stories...

Outline: Pitching Errors: How Not to Pitch [Q&A with senior editors] 

6 Common Mistakes B2B Brands Make When Pitching Media

Source: (


  1. Not doing research on the person they're pitching.
  2. Sending a PR pitch with no hook.
  3. Including attachments.
  4. Including too much industry jargon.
  5. Being too self-serving.
  6. Not following up at all, or following up multiple times 

How to do PR outreach (and 10 garbage fire mistakes to avoid)

Source: (

You want to reach out to the media but you don't want to look silly by making a rookie mistake...

Outline: The biggest PR outreach mistakes 

  • Mistake #1: Not researching the media contact or their publications
  • Mistake #2: Not providing value
  • Mistake #3: Generic pitching
  • Mistake #4: Too self-promotional
  • Mistake #5: Failing to follow up
  • Mistake #6: Pitches are way too long
  • Mistake #7: Misleading, overhyped, or dishonest headlines and pitches
  • Mistake #8: Not networking with journalists
  • Mistake #8: Unclear, confusing, or jargon-y
  • Mistake #9: Too pushy with the media
  • Mistake #10: Not being an industry authority 

Media Pitches: The Five Biggest Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Source: (

Media pitches are key to media relations success. In order to get the most out of what we share with reporters, place specific emphasis on making communications relatable and tailored...


  1. Your media pitch's subject line is boring
  2. Your Media Pitch Isn't Personal
  3. Your media pitch lacks intriguing details
  4. Your media pitch lacks a clear call to action
  5. You aren't following up on your media pitches 

7 lessons I've learned from a decade of pitching journalists that will boost your results

Source: (

Did you know that an average media reporter receives five pitches per day, but crafts only up to five publications per week? Only 25% of the stories written by journalists come from pitches...


  • Lesson #1 Keep to relevancy and accuracy
  • Lesson #2 Deliver a short but meaningful message
  • Lesson #3 Avoid self-promotion
  • Lesson #4 Replace “I have/want/need” with “You get” or “Your interest”
  • Lesson #5 Ask how you can be helpful
  • Lesson #6 Personalize your pitch to the max
  • Lesson #7 Don't go too far… 

Some other don'ts to keep in mind when it comes to pitching... 

  1. Don't get over-emotional
  2. Don't follow-up too much and too often
  3. Don't trick into clicking
  4. Don't target all journalists at once 

7 Fatal Flaws of Story Pitches 

Source: (

Common mistakes can undermine even the best of story ideas. We introduce them here, and will follow up with essays about each...

Outline: Watch out for common tripwires

  1. Failure to know the publication
  2. Failure to respect submission protocol
  3. Failure to honor the core: spelling, style and grammar
  4. Failure to do a basic clips search
  5. Failure to be interesting
  6. Failure to focus
  7. Failure to sell yourself

10 Media Pitching Mistakes and Their Simple Fixes

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To see success with your media pitches, make sure your PR team isn't guilty of committing one of these common media pitching mistakes...


  1. The mistake: The pitch is too generic or sales-y
  2. The mistake: The pitch isn't personalized
  3. The mistake: Your team is only sending press releases
  4. The mistake: The pitch is too long
  5. The mistake: Your team hasn't done their research
  6. The mistake: Not offering anything of value
  7. The mistake: The subject line is boring or off-topic
  8. The mistake: Not properly following up
  9. The mistake: The pitch is full of errors  

Master The Art of Pitching The Media (+ Examples)

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Pitching the media is an easy way to gain free press for your business without the help of expensive PR Agencies...

Outline: 7 Steps on how to write a media pitch 

  1. Make your subject line count.
  2. Establish Credibility.
  3. State your lead.
  4. Include a call-to-action.
  5. Add a soundbite quote.
  6. Keep it brief.
  7. Sign off by recapping important details.  

Missing something?

Hit me up in the comments with an article you feel must be included!