The Anatomy of a Perfect PR Funding Pitch
The stakes are high– you (or your client) finally secured that dream investment and now it’s time to turn to the media. You know there’s really only one shot and then it’s old news.
For startups, funding announcements are some of the most promising and exciting ways to get a spike in great news coverage and brand recognition, especially with high-dollar or high-value rounds.
So, how can you give your next funding announcement the strongest possible odds of securing the best coverage?
Here at Propel, we always turn to the numbers when giving recommendations. By analyzing millions of real pitches (like we did with the Q3 Media Barometer) PR people have sent journalists over the past couple years, we’ve found there are a handful of curious consistencies that lead to some pitches getting more engagement than others.
For this study, we analyzed over 3,000 funding-related pitches from the first half of 2022 and broke down the data to see what makes for a successful pitching strategy.
Journalists love funding news
For starters, we know for a fact that journalists want to cover your funding news. Seriously! The journalist response rate to funding pitches this year averages at 6%, which nearly doubles the average response rate to all pitches from the same time period, which measures up to a disheartening 3.33%.
Keep the subject line short
While they appear to want to cover these stories, they also appear to be weeding out emails that don’t fit a certain mold.
Funding pitches with subject lines between 6 and 9 words had a response rate at 6.9%.
On the opposite end, the subject line length with the lowest average response rate was 10-15 words long at 4.24%. This is interesting, because over 65% of pitches that PR people sent had subject lines in this range.
This points to a disconnect between what most PR pros are doing and what journalists are looking for. As we see from this trend, a longer subject line can make or break a pitching campaign.
Next, provide the essentials (only)
It turns out that journalists responded the most to funding pitches that erred on the shorter end regarding total pitch body length, too.
Pitches between 50-149 words had the highest response rate at 15%.
Despite this, 44% of funding pitches were between 500-999 words long. And the harsh reality? Pitches within this range got an average journalist response rate of 2.26%.
This means, for funding announcements, include only key details like round type, funds secured, who the investors are and what the funds will be used for.
Build your media list intentionally
As with any campaign, the magic can lie in your media list.
Many journalists report that they receive hundreds of pitches each day, so it’s vital that you avoid fueling the fire of irrelevance and only pitch to journalists that make the most sense.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you blast your funding announcement for the world to hear:
- Does your company qualify?
- Is the funding announcement big enough for certain outlets to cover it?
- Has the journalist you’re pitching covered funding news in the past?
From this sample of 3,000 pitches, we found that journalists at half of the most-pitched outlets for funding news didn’t respond to ANY of the pitches they received.
These outlets were:
- Business Insider
- The New York Times
- Financial Times
It’s likely that these outlets were grouped into large media lists for the sake of aiming for large publications regardless of the size of the funding announcement, and perhaps the journalists’ beat.
On a more positive note, some of the more responsive outlets and their respective response rates to funding pitches were:
- Fortune: 25.64%
- The Wall Street Journal: 16.46%
- TechCrunch: 12.12%
What this means to you
The good news is, journalists love these types of pitches, but they are very selective on which ones they read and proceed with. So, make sure you keep it short, to the point, and full of specific numbers.
How can we Propel your PR? Get started with a free Propel account today.