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How to Pitch a Story that won't be Ignored

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Pitching a story to a reporter may sound simple. "My business is doing XYZ. You should write a story about it."

However, the truth is an approach like this rarely works. To be successful in getting your story covered by a particular media outlet, you have to put some time and effort into reaching out. Here are some things to keep in mind next time you pitch a story idea:

Be relevant. First and foremost, don't pitch a story topic that the reporter doesn't cover. Your story about a business award has a much better chance of being written by a business reporter than by a community reporter. So, do a little research and make sure the story ideas you send to reporters are relevant to their job duties.

Be helpful. If you're giving the reporter information about your story, be as thorough as possible. Help make their jobs easier by including details like photos, job titles and a contact who they can interview for more information.

Be convenient. Don't call them when they want to be emailed. Don't email them when they want to be direct messaged. Reaching the reporter where they want to be reached makes them more likely to respond. Also, make it convenient for them to get back to you by providing multiple ways to reach you and being available when they do.

Be courteous. "Thanks for your time" is a basic, but definitely appreciated, courtesy. Greeting the reporter by their first name also goes a long way; it shows them that they aren't just another reporter on your list. Referencing a past story that they've written is not only a polite gesture, but will also give you insight into what kind of pitch might pique their interest.

Even if your story is worth covering, a hasty and unthoughtful pitch could be the reason why it isn't going to get covered. Taking the time to make a quality pitch is always worth it in the end.

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