Journalists receive hundreds of story pitches per day, so it can be challenging to create a pitch that stands out and doesn’t get lost in the crowd. Particularly in recent times, the news cycle is inundated with COVID-19 related news, so pitching your news angle effectively is vital to cut-though the noise.
The public relations professionals at Adoni Media have their top tips for pitching to journalists.
Do the research
Research the media outlets and journalists you are pitching to, to see what types of content they are currently publishing and what stories they might be interested in. Many journalists have had to shift their content to cover the pandemic or have slowed coverage on other topics. Consider pitching two or three different story ideas to give the journalist a choice.
Keep it simple and brief
If the journalist is interested in your story, they will follow it up, so there is no need to include all the information in your initial pitch. Your pitch needs a catchy hook that clearly encapsulates what the story is about, followed by a brief introduction and call to action.
Timing is everything
Be mindful of the time you choose to distribute your pitch. Journalists are working with strict deadlines and if they are interested in running your story, you need to give them time to gather everything they need for their story.
Use the subject line to clearly pitch the contents of the email. If the journalist isn’t engaged and interested from reading your subject line, they won’t bother to open the email.
Personalise your pitch
Show a genuine interest in the media outlet or journalist’s work when pitching your story idea, and clearly communicate how your story will be of value to them and their audience. If you or a colleague have worked with them before, make sure you mention that to build a relationship.
Give a clear call to action
You need to include a clear call to action. Say what you want and why the journalist should run your story. Always include your contact details at the end and ask them to contact you to discuss the pitch further or other opportunities.