Pitching a story should take as much time and consideration as writing a press release if you want the best chance of getting your story covered in the media.
You might believe your story has news value but it’s the journalists and editors you need to convince of that too.
When I was a journalist I remember endless calls to the newsroom from people who believed they had a story, when often they didn’t, which meant when someone did call in with something worth writing about I could be more dismissive than I should have been.
It must be newsworthy and relevant for you to pique someone’s interest. Don’t let your sales director tell you their new product should hit the headlines if there isn’t a story. PR isn’t a free advert.
1) Make sure you have a newsworthy story
2) Write a press release – follow my tips on how to write a press release here
3) Find out the relevant person to speak to at the publication – there is no point speaking to the sports editor about a book launch. Similarly, the editor is probably too busy to take calls so aim for a reporter or the news desk. Get their name and call them directly.
4) You won’t have long so get your point across so do it quickly and coherently.
5) If you don’t have it already, ask for their email address and offer to send them the press release.
6) Remember to follow-up, it’s down to you to make it happen.