Margaret McGann

Pitching the Media

In communications and marketing, media relations, public relations, writing on December 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Now that you’ve determined that your story is good enough to interest the media and written a release you’re ready to pitch it.

Here’s how to successfully pitch your story and build your reputation as a credible media source.

  1. Keep up-to-date media lists and know your media outlets. It’s best to target your media list for each pitch.
  2. Target your story to an outlet that covers stories like yours. Pitches that tie in with current stories are what news outlets are looking for.
  3. Contact the media only with newsworthy story ideas and in advance of any events. Ask yourself does it pass the “who cares’ and “so what” test?
  4. Keep it short and enticing and give the reasons it would interest readers or viewers.
  5. Know the best times to pitch your story (i.e., mid-mornings are best; Mondays and Fridays are not good days to pitch or follow-up).
  6. Know your story and anticipate questions.
  7. Send background materials immediately following contact.
  8. Be available. Make sure you can be contacted easily to take journalists’ calls if they need more information or want to check a fact for accuracy.
  9. Always work within a reporter’s deadlines.
  10. If it’s a really good story, pitch it as an exclusive to the biggest media outlet in your area.
  11. Build relationships with the media. They are much more likely to listen to a pitch from a source they know and trust.
  12. Take “no” for an answer. Don’t pester the media to run your story it only alienates them. If they’re interested they will call you.

I think the most important item on this list is number 11. Journalists receive an average of 150 to 200 pitches a day if you have taken the time to research what they write about and only pitch stories they can use you’ll become a media relations maven.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: