Public Relations

Email Subject Line: Hit or Miss?



They key to public relations is building and maintaining strong relationships with target audiences. For a PR pro, there’s nothing more important than the PR/reporter dynamic.

At a time where 81% of reporters prefer email pitches, it’s important to know how to use this tool to catch their attention and build trust. On any given day, a reporter can receive hundreds of email pitches. Approximately 53% of editors for lifestyle, entertainment and tech publications admitted to blacklisting at least one person this month due to bad pitches.

So where did they go wrong?

According to a survey conducted by BuzzStream and Fractl, writers and editors from 500 top-tier publications reported that 85% of them decide if they’re interested in a pitch based on the subject line alone. Here are three tips to help you stand out in the inbox clutter:

1) Get to the Point – Survey respondents were very clear they prefer subject lines that are less than 10 words and more than five. If you are too brief, you end up being vague or misleading. If you take too long to get to the point, you’ve already lost your audience.

2) Content is King – We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s so true! Interesting statistics and facts are a fast way to grab attention. Approximately 80% of reporters surveyed indicated they wanted to see the content title, a statistic from a study, or the pitch clearly in the subject line. Ask yourself which sounds better:

(A) New Frozen Doll in High Demand for the Holidays
(B) 91% of Children Want the Frozen Doll this Christmas

Hint: The answer is B!

3) Tailor the Content…Correctly – Imagine receiving an email that has nothing to do with you or your interests. Annoying, right? Take the time to learn the reporter’s beat and specific subject matter. By gathering this information, you can use it in your subject line. Don’t assume a business reporter covers all business. Perhaps their content is focused solely on tech products. You should know this not only for your subject line, but when you start constructing your media lists.

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