Hopefully, you’re starting to see why a pitch goes horribly wrong. If you’re on the blogging side, maybe you’ll start to scrutinize what comes into your inbox. If you’re on the business side, perhaps you’re starting to not only improve your techniques but also your campaigns.
Of the two pitches I’ve featured, I’ll admit that I picked them because they had some good (a little bit of a stretch), some bad, and a lot ugly. But not at pitches are horrible. In fact, they are usually all very different.
I’ll get formal emails that feel more like a cold pitch (if I’ve never heard of the rep or the brand or I don’t have any previous connection to them). I’ll get warm, personal emails. I’ll admit, the latter is often hard for me to ignore and harder, still, for me to say no to even if it’s not a good fit for my blog. I’m working on it.
Recently, I got a pitch that was totally different than anything I’ve gotten in a while and I thought it was worth sharing. I’m not going to anonymize much of the content here because none of it is proprietary or “secret.” I will, however, protect the information of the agency that sent it to me.
I wanted to reach out to you about James Morrison, the UK’s fiery soul singer, who’s bringing his music to the States. I was hoping you could check him out and consider reviewing his album– you’ll be one step ahead of his US invasion! I know you had reviewed Mat Kearney’s performance a couple of months ago. If you like Mat, you’ll definitely dig James.
James just released his latest studio album The Awakening, which boasts a two-week stint at #1 on the UK Billboard charts and is now available in the United States as well. His second single off the album, “Up,” features a huge guest appearance from fellow Brit Jessie J and has accumulated over 3 million views since the video’s release less than a month ago.
Just to give you a bit of history on James, his unique, soulful sound may have had its beginnings when he was diagnosed with Whooping Cough as a baby and was given just a 30% chance of survival. After miraculously pulling through, James’ childhood was riddled with strained family life – all of which contributed to his drive and passion for creating music. Recently, James lost his father to a long battle with alcoholism and depression almost simultaneously as he himself became a father.
On The Awakening, themes of both new fatherhood and the loss of his own father resonate beautifully.
Here’s a link to the album, let me know what you think of it!
James Morrison’s The Awakening – (link to download album)
(Company info – address, phone, website, twitter handle)
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead * A Camp * Brand New * The Cardigans * Cloud Cult * K.Flay * Morgan Geist * Gold Motel * Kina Grannis * Scott Hardkiss * Sarah Jaffe * Mat Kearney * Kerretta * Late Guest at the Party * Metro Area * Midnight Masses * Motion City Soundtrack * Owl City * Christina Perri * Peter Bjorn and John * Kelley Polar * The Radio Dept. * Roni Size & Reprazent * Rubik * Shred for Your Life * The Static Jacks
YouTube - Videos from this email”
A little different, right? Let’s break it down.
- Let’s start with the obvious. My name!!! The email is personalized!
- The casual tone. Some people may not like that but being this is from the music industry, hearing a “Hey Fadra” seems much more appropriate than “Dear Fadra”
- The language. Hoping I would check him out and consider reviewing his album. That language has a tone that sounds respectful of my time.
- Reference to a relevant blog post. Yes, I did write about Mat Kearney’s performance. And it’s entirely relevant to this pitch. Sounds like homework was done.
- Relating this pitch to my personal tastes. I did totally dig Mat Kearney and this person make the like between my personal tastes and this new music.
- The singer’s success. Because this is a British singer, it’s relevant to tout his success across the pond so that I know this is not some random artist.
- The singer’s background. Giving me a personal story about the singer makes me want to know more about the person behind the artist.
- A link to the entire album. No questions asked. I don’t have to agree to anything. It’s up to me to download, listen, and decide if it’s something I want to write about.
- Company information. I like to know I’m working with a legitimate company. Usually, I do a quick assessment based on their website and social media presence.
- Client list. I can only assume the artist list in the footer are clients that this company does PR work for. This list gives them credibility.
- Embedded video. The email included video for one of his hit songs in the UK. A nice visual and definitely piqued my interest.
- On my first try, the video did not work and gave me an error. I ended up googling the video and watching anyway. Subsequent tries worked so who knows?
- James Morrison sounds nothing like Mat Kearney in sound or style. It’s not a bad thing. I just found the comparison to be inaccurate (maybe misleading?)
- My only complaint was the album download. The download link took me to a site that required me to download an executable file that I needed to extract before I could download the album. It smelled a little fishy so I chose not to do the download. A week later, the rep emailed me as a follow-up. When I mentioned my concern about the executable file, she quickly provided me an alternate method for download.
So that’s what a good pitch looks like. Refreshing, isn’t it? I haven’t decided yet if I’ll officially review it. I would hesitate if the music didn’t suit me or I didn’t feel like a timely review would be a good fit for my blog. That remains to be seen.
Have you seen any good pitches lately?