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3 Things Your Media Pitch Doesn't Need When you're trying to lasso attention for your startup. There are a few things to not mention in your pitch email to the media.

By Dave Clarke Edited by Dan Bova

As a young founder, you've got a good grasp on who in the media covers your space. You know who your industry's influencers are. And now you want to reach out and say hey. That said, here are three things to leave out of your intro email.

"I really liked your article [from yesterday]."
Congratulations, you know how to Google. Yes, you want to show that you're an engaged reader, but spend a few minutes and dig a little deeper than the writer's most recent piece. Better yet, find a past article that really speaks to you and the problem you're solving -- and then add something more. If the article is about personal-finance habits and you're building personal-finance management software, mention that you've got a behavioral psychologist on your team who thought X about what was covered. The idea is to add something to the conversation. Don't simply pander.

"Dear Ted, My name is Dave Clarke and I represent some company who does something super complicated-sounding and I would like to take just a few minutes of your..."
YAWN. DELETE. Why? Because you're wasting time. Like in an elevator pitch, you need to give the reporter a reason to be interested -- fast. His or her inbox is piling up with hundreds of other emails as you type. So what do you do? Do a little research. In addition to past articles, check out the reporter's Twitter account and get a sense for how he/she communicates. "Hey Ted - Thought you might like this..." may work better than the snooze-fest above.

Word doc press releases? PDFs? PowerPoint decks? Hi-res logos? When you're first reaching out, forget all that stuff. They're bulky. They set off spam filters. They're unwarranted and (usually) unwanted. Think about it: Would you like it if you got 400 emails every day, each with multiple attachments? Worse, would your server like it? If your need to include "additional information" is so great, whip it up in a blog post and simply include a link. And keep this rule in mind: Only send attachments when requested.

So as you're diving into the media fray, go easy. Don't make your quick Google search obvious. Get to the point. And please -- please -- forget about the attachments. Next, we'll cover a few things that you absolutely need to include in your media intro emails. So stay tuned!

Dave Clarke

Founder and lead strategist, AuthenticMatters

Dave Clarke is the founder and lead strategist at AuthenticMatters, a digital strategy firm that helps companies - from web startups to brick & mortars - acquire the right customers to the right products for the right reasons. Email him at to learn more or grab a beer if you're ever in Philly or New York.

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