How to pitch to tech journalists in 2021

By Ruby Taylor, technology PR Junior Account Executive

The extraordinary events of the past year have seen us all adapt the way we work and communicate. New habits have been formed, consumer behaviour has changed and the media landscape has been reimagined. One thing we do know for certain is that media relations remain to be a valuable part of a technology PR strategy.

Whether you’re a tech startup ready to launch a ground-breaking product or have just secured funding for a govtech project, earned media provides an opportunity to not only be seen, but engaged with, in loud and competitive markets.

At Aspectus, we’ve used our expertise to carefully consider how to pitch journalists and cut through the noise in 2021.

Pitch with precision

Having a targeted approach is vital to ensure that a pitch isn’t tone deaf.

Journalists have time constraints and receive hundreds of emails a day. Knowing how to pitch a story to a journalist which grabs their attention requires research.

While it is easy to fire out emails to all contacts on a media list, statistics show that quality not quantity is key in securing coverage. In 2020, a State of Journalism Muck Rack survey reported that a journalist’s primary reason for rejecting a pitch is a lack of customisation.

Understanding your audience is vital. Be driven by the journalist’s own agenda while still considering the current news cycle, new behaviours and motivations of your target market. 2021 has seen a shift in consumerism from profit to purpose, which needs to be reflected in your pitch.

Ensure the journalist has the resources they need to run the story too. Include a strong subject line, interesting angle, contact details and imagery to enrich the story. Leaving them wanting more detail can be catastrophic for your pitch.

And while you may want to shoot for the stars with a feature on the headline news, don’t forget the power of smaller publications. Often, they have a more targeted following which can have a greater impact on your audience.

By refining your focus with a precise pitch in 2021’s media landscape, you can generate more opportunities for coverage.

Build a relationship

Nurturing positive and communicative relationships with journalists is hugely beneficial to both sides of the story.

Try putting yourself in the journalist’s shoes. They now find themselves working from home, their dependable sources of content such as events have been cancelled and many publications have reduced their capacities.

As the #BeKind movement reminded us in 2020, kindness costs nothing. Want to know a key element in successfully knowing how to pitch to journalists? It’s simple, be friendly.

Engaging with tech journalists outside of your pitch and sharing their work builds trust and quality relationships.

For instance, have they just written a compelling story about a new edtech product or does your business fill a gap in the market that they have previously mentioned? Let them know.

This will make you a welcome name in their inbox and ultimately more likely to secure coverage for your business.

Make your story sing

Image of microphone on magazine.

The power of storytelling has transcended generations, societies and pandemics. Knowing how to pitch to a journalist requires thinking about what makes a great story. It has to interest, surprise and engage the reader.

Now, more than ever, people want to hear about issues they can relate to and talk about over Zoom and Facetime. And giving your story a sense of escapism will ensure your pitch is listened to.

Gone are the days of clickbait on the commute. Find the positives in your story, uplift your audience and shine a beacon of light onto 2021.

Keen to secure coverage and drive results for your business? Get in touch today.

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