How do I pitch, and what do I pitch to the media?
Finding a topic of intrigue to pitch to the media is challenging. Identifying how to best deliver your pitch and what to say to make it successful, is what I most often get asked about. So I thought I would let you in on a bit of the process. Pitching the media is definitely an art, not a science, but there are some general rules. It starts with having a topic you are passionate about. Then it’s all about your pitch delivery. That’s where we’ll dive in.
Get to the point
Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. You need to start the conversation off strong. Give a brief introduction to the topic and talk about the main points. Highlight precisely what you will be covering and give your audience any pertinent facts they need to understand the concept and urgency/ importance.
Briefly explain why your topic pertains to the audience you’re pitching, and how you are the expert to explain it. A typical pitch is about one page total. Maximize your impact by staying on point and utilize engaging language and facts.
Know who you’re pitching to
Research ahead of time and pitch to reporters and media outlets that would typically represent the content you are pitching. Having a personalized pitch for reporters, editors and producers increases the likelihood they will be interested in you and your content. Do not waste time pitching to people who will not cover your topic.
Sending mass emails or messages to get your pitch in front of more people typically doesn’t work. Instead, use that time and energy to do your homework on exactly who you think would be most interested in your story. Write a compelling subject line to entice the recipient, and end your message with a call-to-action to encourage them to contact you.
In order for your pitches to be successful, they have to be original. If you are pitching on a topic that has already been covered by someone else, you need to put a unique spin on it. Give your audience new information they have not yet seen. Make it personal. Represent the other side of the story. Help them understand existing data that has not been thoroughly explained.
By having a pitch and a campaign plan for something new and original, your content is more likely to be picked up.
Tell a real story
Always try to include a story that is real and relatable. This will make your pitch more authentic and give it added credibility. Having a story, quote, or community engagement backing your pitch shows the news outlet that your pitching topic matters and already has proven its relevance.
Include relevance and timeliness
Make your pitch relevant. Pitch on a topic that is either upcoming or currently happening. What is going on now and what is coming up soon?
Once you make sure the timing is right, provide evidence that your pitch matters. Use data, community impacts, and the value that you are providing to your audience to establish relevance.
Once you have your pitch ready to go, and send it, make sure you follow up! I get asked a lot how often to reach back out? Again, this is an art, you don’t want to be overly pushy, but it’s about being pleasantly persistent! Wait, 3-4 days, then send it again, just to make sure they have seen your email. You’d be surprised how many pitches the media get in a day, so keep at it. Then follow up again in about a week and then 3-4 days later. If your story is time-sensitive, you could reach out a little sooner.
Pitching quick list:
There are a lot of steps and details that go into pitching; it is an art form that is constantly evolving and changing.
Here is a quick recap of what to include in your pitch to increase your success.
- Keep your language clear and concise
- Use subject lines that are compelling and enticing
- Research to whom you are pitching
- Make your pitches personable and relatable
- Establish the need for your pitching topic
- Make your pitch relevant and timely
- Follow up
If you need help crafting the perfect pitch, book a call today!