Four Tips for Media Pitch Writing

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.

  1. Develop a well-rounded pitch, which includes the problem and the solution. If possible, include third parties to round out the story.
  2. Study the outlet to determine if this type of story would be good for their readers.
  3. 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.

  1. Never assume that the reporter knows what GDRP or GRMS stands for, or why it is important. Make sure you briefly explain your content.
  2. Always ask this question before you send your pitch, will the reader care? If they will, send your pitch!

Do get to the point:

  1. Nobody likes a long pitch. Get to the point and get out (three – six sentences).
  2. When phone pitching keep it short and sweet.
  3. Do not leave a dozen messages, but keep calling!

Do be yourself:

  1. Get to know the person on the receiving end of your pitches and find out what they really do like.
  2. 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!

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