The secret of pitching a story
One week I wrote newspaper articles about a new financial services company, a new shop with a community mission, a business celebrating a 30-year anniversary and a business exporting high quality, hi-tech products.
How did these businesses pitch their stories?
- Email to the newsdesk
- Press release sent to the newspaper
- Facebook message direct to journalist
- Information given on a factory tour
What’s the best way to pitch your story?
The one that works.
Seriously, there are many ways to pitch a story and they all work for some people and don’t work for lots of other people.
The challenge is to find the way of pitching that works for your story, for you and the journalist you are targeting.
However you pitch your story, it’s essential that your pitch:
- is short and punchy
- is easy to understand
- excites the person you are approaching
and, most importantly,
- lets the story tell itself
Of course, your story does need to be interesting and exciting in order to do all this.
On my factory tour, it was a few simple facts about the company’s achievements that impressed me – no sales pitch, no boasts – just plain facts that spoke for themselves and made me think: “I want to write about that.”
Don’t wind journalists up
Sometimes people try to tell journalists what to do, what angle to take and insist that they visit to interview a senior person. This is not a good idea. It’s one thing to make suggestions, but another to tell journalists what to do in their own publication. Understandably, journalists get annoyed when this happens.
Invite rather than demand. Suggest rather than insist.
Let your business speak for itself
Surprisingly, many businesses talk about themselves without actually saying what they do or what they achieve.
When you pitch a story, show round a journalist or just talk about about your business, your message needs to be clear and straightforward. Don’t waffle or go into needless background that tires your listener or makes them want to end the conversation.
Don’t worry needlessly about how you contact a journalist, because if you get the pitch right, your story will sell itself.
Your #SillySeasonPR #9 task is to think of how to pitch your story in a few words that will make the listener ask to hear more. Good luck and do ask any questions you have.
Tomorrow: ? Visit to find out
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