I get a lot of ineffective pitches from classical music publicists. In fact — sad to say — I think most of the pitches I get from classical music publicists aren’t very strong.
Hope all is well. I am following up about a possible review of XXX’s new album featuring pianist YYY. Details are below.
What’s wrong with that? “Details are below.” Never write this! Give us the information we need right now. Don’t make us work to get it. Because — this is a truth we’ve all got to face — you can count on people reading your email for no more than 15 to 30 seconds.
So hook our interest right from the start.
The email i’ve quoted could have read this way:
Hope all is well. I’m following up about XXX’s new album featuring pianist YYY. [Sentence rewritten, to make it move faster, so we get to the good stuff more quickly.]
On this album, XXX writes music for ukelele ensemble and found objects, making sounds never heard before. Click here for details. (This is the good stuff. First a sentence saying something that immediately hooks our interest. Then an immediate link to more info.)
Of course I know that the sentence I wrote — about what’s on the album — isn’t something we’ll often find. But in everything you pitch, there’s something interesting. (Or at least something that can be made to sound interesting.)
zLately I’ve been spending time with my consulting clients on things like this. Working with them to write pitches and other kinds of writing — bios, descriptions of projects — that get people interested, right from the very first sentence.
Such an important skill. But — to judge from the pitches I get — one that too few people (professional publicists very much included) know that they need.