By Cybil Rose
I’ve been writing media pitches for nearly a decade, and previously I was on the receiving end of them when I was a TV news producer.
So what makes a good pitch? I went straight to the source (aka editors and reporters) and asked them. Here are the four key takeaways:
Do the research: This applies to the topic, the outlet and the reporter.
- Develop a well-rounded pitch, which includes the problem and the solution. If possible, include third parties to round out the story.
- Study the outlet to determine if this type of story would be good for their readers.
- Review the reporters and do not rely on technology (i.e. Gorkana) to tell you what a reporter writes about – actually read, watch or listen to their stories.
Do give background: This applies to the topic and the reader.
- Never assume that the reporter knows what GDRP or GRMS stands for, or why it is important. Make sure you briefly explain your content.
- Always ask this question before you send your pitch, will the reader care? If they will, send your pitch!
Do get to the point:
- Nobody likes a long pitch. Get to the point and get out (three – six sentences).
- When phone pitching keep it short and sweet.
- Do not leave a dozen messages, but keep calling!
Do be yourself:
- Get to know the person on the receiving end of your pitches and find out what they really do like.
- If you’re a bossy person, please do not tell a reporter that they must cover a story as nobody likes to be told what to do or when to do it.
So be smart, be short and be yourself!