While many people only use press releases for free publicity, learning how to write an effective cover letter can dramatically increase the amount of publicity you receive.
A media cover letter is a short pitch to editors that contains an idea or article that you would like them to use to help you get free publicity. It is important to write a good cover letter to correctly convey your point of view.
It is important to do a simple research before sending your letter. Research the publisher’s name and publication name and be sure to include them in your introduction. This will keep your letter personalized, show your sincerity in your intentions, and prevent the editor from assuming that this is a letter you sent to other publications as well.
It’s also essential that you open your cover letter with an attention-grabbing statement that instantly engages your reader in what you have to say. If your reader is instantly hooked on what you have to say, they will keep reading.
For example, if I were to write a cover letter about my adventure selling the Brooklyn Bridge in 1983 (yes, I actually sold the Brooklyn Bridge), I would start my letter by saying:
“In 1983 I made a splash in the international media by becoming the first person in history to REALLY sell the Brooklyn Bridge, one square inch at a time. Now, 25 years later, I am doing it again, even bigger and better. than before. “
Then get to the point. Explain to the editor what you want to do, whether it’s suggesting a new product or recommending someone to make it stand out. Make sure your story or idea is perfect for the publication’s target market, then tell the editor why.
Now that you’ve caught the editor’s attention, explain your concept as clearly and concisely as possible. It’s important not to lay out all of your ideas in a media cover letter for two reasons: First, your letter isn’t going to bore the reader, and second, it will pique your reader’s interest and keep them wondering and wanting more. Make sure that since this is the bulk of your letter, you have understood its main points, all while keeping your letter within one page. Ideally, the letter should be between 200 and 400 words.
Make it clear to the editor that you are the best person to do the job. You can take this opportunity to cite some of your previous work or significant experiences that may be of benefit to you in dealing with this topic. Don’t be too arrogant, but safely explain that you have quality information that this person can use and pass on to their audience.
Lastly, be sure to leave your correct contact information. It sounds simple, but you will be surprised how many people screw it up.
Include a phone number (cell phones are fine too. Just state that the number is your cell phone number) and an email address that you check frequently. Indicate that you can be contacted via those numbers or email addresses at any time if the publisher is interested in your idea. You can also include additional press materials with your letter to prevent the editor from doing additional research on your topic.
Once you send your cover letters to the media, be sure to check your email and voicemail services frequently. The media are happy to leave a message or send an email, but they won’t wait long for you to reply. If you don’t contact them within hours, you risk missing out on an interview.
By following these steps and learning how to write a cover letter, you’re on your way to free advertising that can attract new customers to your business at little or no cost to you.