As a WordWrite intern, I certainly have been thrown right into things since day one, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Part of being thrown into things means having to take on your first media pitch from start to finish. If you’re new to this like I was, then follow these basic steps to put that pitch together.
1. Find something worth pitching
Make sure the story idea you have is a solid one. Be sure that you’ll have the resources to find enough information, and then go out there and find it. The most exciting stories to read are the ones that were most exciting to write. Make sure yours is one of them.
Once you’ve found a worthy story idea, do your research. Would interviewing someone to hear his or her side of things help add value? Who are the important people surrounding the story that would be worthy of mentioning? Researching and finding as many facts and details as possible will allow for a more comprehensive story and make pitching to media that much easier.
3. Compile your media list
This is probably one of the most crucial steps here because if you don’t look for the right media, then all your earlier effort was for naught. Be sure to look for journalists specific to your topic, especially ones who have covered similar stories in the past. And don’t be afraid to branch out. If your story involves people from out of town, then reach out to some media outlets in their neck of the woods, too. Having that local connection makes the story worth that journalist’s times.
4. Adjust your pitch based on your recipient
Don’t cut any corners here and send the same, generic pitch to every journalist you took the time to find. Craft each one individually and say the same thing in a variety of ways. If you know there might only be one thing of interest to a certain writer, then send them an individually crafted pitch highlighting that particular point. The number one thing to remember is to deliver the angle that the journalist will want. If that means changing up the focus a little bit, then so be it.
Crafting the right pitch is integral to landing the right media hits. Have something worth pitching, do your research, find the right contacts and write something that will compel them to cover the story. Think ahead to what their questions might be and answer them before they think to ask. Making information readily available to journalists will greatly increase your chances of success.