So... when is the best time to pitch?


This week, we’re going to talk about when to pitch, both in terms of actually days and times and when you’re ready.

I’ve coached a lot of people in media. People who feel all fired up, confident that they have great ideas; people who do their research and then….

Just put off pitching. And put it off, and put it off, and put it off…

Until months have gone by and they’ve still not taken action.

I understand that for the perfectionists amongst us, it can be hard to send something out without knowing if it’s going to be successful or not.

Trust me - I’m with you on this one too. I pitch regularly as a journalist and have come against this mental barrier more than once.

But there are a few pointers I can share to help you break through that limitation and get that pitch out there! After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?!

Seatbelts on? Okay, let’s go.

Working out when your pitch is ready 

There’s no definitive “right” answer to this question, but you should at least be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Have you done adequate research on that journalist and title?

  2. Is your pitch going to add value to that particular audience?

  3. Can you answer the “why does this matter now?” question?

Working out when you've adequately "got to know" the journalist 

If you’re pitching a big title - one of your absolute top-of-the-pile ones, hopefully you’ve taken my advice and done your due diligence by getting on the radar of the journalist you’re pitching to (see last week’s newsletter or head to the archive to read about this).

A good time to take the plunge and actually pitch them is when they’ve responded to your interactions a couple of times - ie, they’ve liked or replied to your comments. Strike whilst this iron is hot.

What time/ day to pitch

Most journalists read at least the subject line of every email they get sent, regardless of when it’s sent, but if you want the best chance of catching them in the moment (so they actually read your pitch almost immediately) Tuesday or Wednesdays late morning are a strong choice.

When to pitch different kinds of titles 

Want to get into a Christmas issue of a glossy. Well then, you’d better have pitched in July. If you’re hoping to get a story out ahead of a particular event, launch or announcement, here’s a good rule of thumb:

Dailies / websites: whenever (although my Tuesday rule is a pretty good one to stick to)

Daily newspapers: A week before

Weeklies: at least a month before

Monthlies/ Glossies: 6 months ahead