You have a great story and want it to get picked up by local and regional media outlets, but how do you ensure your story stands above the rest? When reporters’ and editors’ inboxes are flooded with ideas each day, you need to make your pitch worth the read.
Follow these 4 steps to guarantee that your pitch will raise eyebrows.
Don’t Ramble — Keep It Short and Simple
Think of a pitch as a short — and we mean short — introduction to a topic, a few sentences long at most. Take into consideration that reporters are busy individuals and don’t need to read an email filled with someone’s life story. A pitch is their first introduction to the topic, event, company, etc. It should get a reporter excited and motivated to learn more.
Here’s a pro tip: Remove any words or sentences that are not absolutely necessary for the pitch. Only include the most vital information, such as what, where, when, why and how. For example, what’s happening, where and when is it (even if it’s already taken place), why should the reporter write this story and how does it impact the media outlet’s readers.
Don’t Just Copy and Paste
You want to make reporters feel like they’re receiving the story first. Create the pitch to uniquely relate to them. Is there a story they recently covered that you can note in your first sentence? If so, try to pull a little information from that piece to help grab their attention.
Know Your Audience
Think of this — you wouldn’t go to the food store expecting to find lumber supplies, so you shouldn’t send a pitch to just any reporter. To have a successful pitch, it is important to know about the reporter to whom you are pitching.
Reporters will want a story that relates to a topic or area they typically cover. Take the time to research reporters and their respective media outlets. This will help grab the reporters’ attention and make them feel like you have taken the time to ensure this story is a match for them.
Following Up is Key
Do you feel like you put out your best pitch but haven’t received any responses? The pitch doesn’t end when you press send. As mentioned earlier, reporters and media contacts receive multiple emails a day regarding stories, and your pitch may have been initially passed over.
Besides getting your pitch at the top of their inbox again, there are benefits to following up with a reporter. This could help strengthen a relationship with that contact, who may also be able to pass your information to another reporter who can cover the story.
Are you ready to get your message out but not sure how to do it? We can help! Contact us today to learn how you can get your story heard.