Worried your pitches aren’t getting noticed? Chances are you aren’t pitching to a journalist – like a journalist. Editors are picky and choose to publish stories that are authentic and leave lasting impressions.
The best stories start conversations. If you believe your story will cause people to say, “did you hear…” you’ve struck gold. Keep in mind, your pitch won’t get noticed unless it offers relevant information that will benefit and impact the community.
Journalists are constantly searching for story ideas. Hunt for the angle that has the strongest news hook and keep in mind that reporters garner most of their information through interviews, so identify your spokesperson early on and make them available.
Before crafting that pitch, interview your client in a conversational style. You’ll learn and gather information about your pitch that you had no idea about. If your client gives you one-word answers, stay persistent. Chances are a journalist will pry them during an interview and you want them to be prepared.
Does your story posses any of these elements to determine its newsworthiness?
Timing – Does the story align with current events?
Significance – Is your story informing the community?
Proximity – Is the story relevant to the location being pitched to?
Human interest – Will the story bring up emotion?
Prominence – Is it something the audience will care about?
Novelty – Is it something out of the ordinary?
When drafting your pitch, write as though it’s a news story, it must answer the five W’s in an inverted pyramid format. The more information you provide, the more you’ll receive.
Your pitch should essentially make the journalists job a breeze, if you don’t provide all the key points and messages, they won’t give your story idea a second look.
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