No matter how fabulous you think your story is, no one will find out about it unless you can get a journalist interested in you in the first place.
Whether you are pitching to a journalist or ultimately talking to your target audience through on-line, print, radio or TV media, unless you know your stuff tell your story in a real, engaging way, no one will listen.
So here are some handy hints to help get your story pitch – perfect !
- Make news: What you’re pitching must be newsworthy, so know what’s fresh and new about it before you make the call
- Tailor your pitch: Do your research and be familiar with the show, segment or publication that you’re targeting. Know what kinds of stories they cover and the way they cover them, then pitch yours in a similar fashion
- Front and centre: Journalists don’t have time to read your entire media release searching for your hidden story. What’s fresh and new must be clear, and in the top three sentences – preferable the first one.
- Timing: Know when your story is at its newsiest and pitch it a couple of days beforehand. Live shows like The Project don’t have a lot of capacity for getting a story on air quickly. Give them time to plan you in. Another tip: don’t pitch on the day of a Royal Wedding or some other big event, because you won’t get a look in.
- Be available: It’s a very crowded news market and journos are getting pitched lots of story each day, so your idea is probably only going to be interesting for a matter of hours, not days. So once you have the journo on boards, be ready for that phone call and make yourself available if a news outlet wants you at short notice.
- Tell stories : Someone who’s “good talent” is someone who can tell a good story. Tell that story in your pitch – just make sure you do so in a succinct way
- Highlight your expertise: Journalists/producers are turning to you for credibility, they need someone who knows their stuff. Include a short bio or state your experience in your field.
- Give and take: You might know exactly how your story should be covered but you won’t get everything you want, so be prepared to compromise.
- Plugging is a turn off: Journalists are hard-wired to hear shameless plugs of organisations and ignore them, so mention your organisation once and once only when you pitch.
- Video Pitch: embedded video of you pitching your idea might get the cut-through you need to grab someone’s attention.