Pitching a story: Top tips on pitching success

Pitching: divides media and PR (Getty)
Pitching: divides media and PR (Getty)
GETTING IT RIGHT

  • Read the publication, tailor your pitch to its audience and explain clearly to the journalist why their readers will be interested. Remember, the journalist's job is to interest readers.
  • Keep it concise and focused. Remove the waffle, especially unnecessary adverbs and over-blown hype.
  • In a written pitch, eliminate all the basic errors of spelling, grammar and fact. These distract the reader and make them question your credibility.
  • Don't be overly familiar. You don't need to call a journalist 'Mr Smith', but 'John-boy' is simply inappropriate. 'John' will do just fine.
  • Have an interviewee available for comment. Journalists get very frustrated with PROs who cannot deliver on their promises.
  • Know your pitch inside out. You don't want to get caught out by the basic facts.
  • Don't see pitching as an unpleasant task to be foisted on to the office junior. That will simply result in demotivated staff, alienated journalists and a failed campaign. Instead, resolve to lead from the front, shaping, delivering and honing the pitch yourself, and inspiring your junior colleagues with your successes.

Pitching a story - have I got a story for you

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