One of the major services we offer our clients at Dooley Communications is pitching their stories to the media. The primary goal of any pitch is to persuade the journalist that you have a story that they should cover. The pitch can direct the journalist to the formal news release, or to a person for more information.
See below for four components of a good pitch that can help you get noticed.
Make it Newsy
Part of our job is helping our clients understand what â€œnewsâ€ is. Sometimes, even though the announcement means a lot for your company – like the launch of a new product – busy journalists who hear about new products every day won’t consider it worth a story.
That’s where we come in. We can improve your chances of getting noticed by helping you explain why your announcement matters. Does it tie to a current event? What problem will it fix and can you give the journalist access to anyone with that problem? Is it the first, greatest, biggest or only of something? Helping the reporter imagine how they can make your story interesting to their audience will go a long way.
Keep it Short
A pitch email (or phone call) should only be a few sentences long, and your main idea should be front and centre. Journalists are always busy. Many get their story ideas in the morning, and they have only a few hours to write or produce the piece. If they open your pitch email and it is a long, wordy or convoluted, you will be lucky to keep their attention long enough to sell your idea.
Know Who You’re Pitching
Do you know the journalists at the media organizations you’re pitching to? Many journalists have a specific beat, or they are drawn to certain stories. Knowing which journalists are likely to be interested in your news, and sending the pitch directly to them, can help you get the story in the right hands. A mass email where everyone is bcc’d is much less likely to get noticed than a personal note sent directly to an individual.
We can help you do that. We’ve spent many hours working with journalists across the country. We have our own media lists and we know the best database services to find the current names and contact information of those who will be most interested in your story.
Know Who Their Audience Is
Though you are sharing the same news, your pitch to a magazine may look different than your pitch to a newspaper. It is important for you to understand each reporter’s audience so you can tailor your pitch to appeal to them.
Think like a reporter when you pitch the story, and think, â€œwould I share this story if I didn’t work here?â€ Ultimately, our job is to make your pitch relevant to the journalist’s audience. Make it something that neighbours would share across the fence, or coworkers will discuss on a coffee break.