How to pitch a story to a journalist?

Pitching a story idea to the media is always speculative. And to make your pitch stand out from the hundreds that journalists receive, you will benefit from following a tried and tested process. Here are some helpful tips for making a successful pitch.

It is not always possible to guarantee whether the pitch will be picked up. But pre-planning and background research will improve your chance of success and might see the idea appear in your chosen print or online media.

Making a personal pitch directly to a journalist is very powerful. It’s more memorable and can be tailored to the reaction that you get and tackle any concerns head-on.

However, journalists are often under pressure to meet a deadline and are sometimes not receptive to a phone call. Sending emails means your pitch can sit in an inbox and be responded to at leisure.

  1. Whether your pitch is spoken or written be clear about what you want to offer – don’t waffle
  2. Try to make it easy for the journalist. For example, line up interviews with a minimum of three people – but not all from the same company…!
  3. Take into account the news agenda in the sector that you are operating in and time your pitch to be relevant to an issue. e.g. The Building Safety Act or the National Digital Strategy
  4. Think about why the readers would want to hear from you and what would be of interest to them
  5. Research the topics a media outlet covers and try and match it to their programme of activity.

So make sure you do your background research and know that what you are proposing will appeal to their readers. Having some video footage may also make it an attractive proposition. Also, don’t forget to repurpose the content on your social channels

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