Journalists Talk About Pitches That Worked for ‘Best Pitch I Ever Got’

Jasmine Bina of JB Communications discusses "Best Pitch I Ever Got."

Let’s be honest here: most of the feedback that journalists share regarding the pitching process is negative. We now run a weekly series collecting the very best complaints about bad pitches (with a little positivity thrown in there for the sake of balance).

But what about journalists discussing pitches that worked?

JB Communications of Los Angeles recently developed just such a project in the form of the blog Best Pitch I Ever Got.

TJ McCue of Forbes shared it yesterday and got our attention:

The site doesn’t just ask journos to recall the pitches that worked…it also provides mini-profiles of each. For example, Lifehacker’s Alan Henry (who spoke to us about CES pitches back in December) says the odds of getting a response are better if “if you don’t ‘follow up’ three or four times within 48-72 hours, and you let the pitch ride.”

We spoke to Jasmine Bina, founder of JB and the blog, to learn more.

jasmine binaBina says she started the site because she “fell into PR” and “never worked at a proper agency.” Therefore, she “learned the hard way” by “making mistakes.”

Most PRs will find this line familiar:

“When I searched for resources, I found lots of stuff about the negatives but not much about doing it right.

There is a right way to do it…but there needs to be more communication [about the process.]”

Jasmine wanted to rectify that situation, so she began reaching out to her media contacts approximately six months ago to gauge their interest…and Best Pitch I Ever Got was born.

It’s not just for fellow PR pros, though. Jasmine says:

“We specialize in startup tech PR, and we have a lot of people come to us who aren’t ready for PR yet; it would be a waste.

We also made the blog for them…it’s like a PR primer for startup founders.”

She says that the response from both PR and media contacts has been very positive: “they like the positive spin.”

Of course, while we were on the line with Bina we had to get her top two tips on pitching.

1. Get to know your contact before you even think about pitching

“There’s something unnatural about the pitching process, because you’re contacting a stranger and selling something they’re not looking to buy.

You really have to do research, which is why the blog doesn’t just share the best pitch but tries to get to know the journalists themselves, too. I would get to know them that way before I had something to pitch them.”

2. For startups, get ready to get detailed

“Startup founders often have a great product but aren’t willing to talk about things in detail. But a journalist’s job is to tell untold stories, and if you aren’t going to speak in detail then you won’t get anything published.

A lot of people who do their own PR often forget that you have to give [journalists] enough in the way of specifics to help them do their jobs…and get their work approved by their editors.”

We recommend that any PR people who haven’t seen the blog check it out for “pitching lessons straight from the media.