Forget Press Releases, Write a Pitch

Why Pitches Are More Likely to Get You Media Coverage

Pablo Andreu
5 min readJun 14, 2022


Source: Licensed via Adobe Stock Photo

The press release is a longtime staple of public relations, but as a PR pro with more than 15 years of experience, I’m here tell you you’re better off focusing on pitch letters.

Why are pitches better than press releases?

It’s not that they’re inherently better, it’s that they’re better suited for most promotional situations. Usually, a press release depends on hard news: a product release, a new service, a new initiative, etc. In their absence, a pitch comes in handy. It’s a way to start a conversation with a journalist when you don’t have something concrete to offer.

So, what is a pitch letter?

The boring definition: A pitch letter, or pitch, is a piece of communication, usually in the form of an email, that sells an idea to a journalist or other third-party validator, like a research analyst, with the intent to influence their coverage to your benefit.

The CliffsNotes definition: A pitch convinces a journalist to write about you.

Pitches are most common in email format, though back when I was starting out in PR, phone pitches were just as common. Phone pitches can still be really effective in certain situations, but you’re better off starting out with the email pitch lest you piss off a reporter on deadline.

A pitch is made up of a catchy subject line that functions somewhat like a headline. They’re less formal and offer more room for creativity. The pitch itself is composed of a hook, an angle, a couple of paragraphs, and a call to action.

Pitch example

Company XYZ: a library of online resources (videos, blog posts, etc.) with publishing best practices.

Their pitch might look something like this:

Subject: The HubSpot of Publishing

Hook: Only .1% of writers who query literary agents actually land one, whereas 7% of writers who use [Company Name] secure representation.

Additional body copy: Our company was founded by publishing veterans with two common goals: Demystify the publishing…



Pablo Andreu

Words in NYT, Slate, Adweek, and more. Fiction writer. Speechwriter. Find me on Substack and Threads. Website: