How long should should content pitches to media outlets be? Should they include fully formed assets or, instead, opportunities to collaborate? Do publishers value exclusive research? What are the biggest mistakes people make when pitching?

Fractl recently set out to answer such questions by surveying 500 writers, editors, and publishers on what they look for in pitches. Respondents came from a wide range of digital publications, including those that cover general news (such as,,, business and technology (Forbes, Mashable, Business Insider), and specific industries (Adweek, IT World, InfoComm).

Below, key findings from the report.

Pitch Format and Timing

  • 64% of respondents say it is important to establish some sort of personal connection before pitching.
  • 81% prefer being pitched via email; 9% via social media; 5% by phone; 5% via a contact form.
  • 85% say they open a pitch email based on its subject line.
  • 69% prefer to be pitched in the morning; 22% in the afternoon; 9% in the evening.
  • 45% prefer pitches to be fewer than 100 words, and 43% prefer pitches to be fewer than 200 words; only 12% like pitches longer than 300 words.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji