The Perfect Pitch; Telling a Story that Matters
As I worked on crafting the "perfect" media pitch over the past few days, I found myself stuck on how to best communicate the story I wanted to tell. How pitchy is too pitchy? Do I sound like I'm trying too hard? I finally asked myself, why would anyone care about this? Once I answered that question myself the words began to flow.
The key to any successful media pitch is telling a story that matters. Reporters are pitched with numerous stories each day from people just like me who think their story has value. In order to be seen, your pitch must be unique.
Here are some tips to telling a good story:
- Make sure you have a great story to tell- Nothing's worse than thinking your story is newsworthy, only to hear that it has already been told. Do your homework before you contact a reporter. The last thing they want to see is a request to cover something they just reported on last week.
- Make sure your story is relevant- What kind of reader does the publication cater to? Don't pitch to a local newspaper about an event on the other side of the state. I can promise you that you won't have much luck pitching that reporter again in the future.
- Look for unique ways to tell your story- Take an approach to a story that hasn't been done before. It must be out-of-the-ordinary. Find that "aha" moment that makes you think, "Wow! That's really impressive!"
- Report the who, what, when, where, how and most importantly the WHY- The most critical piece of information is the why; all the other information is necessary as background info. Why is your event or client important enough to share with readers? What are the benefits?
- KISS- Remember our post from last month, Top Five Ways to Get - and Stay - on a Reporter's "Nice" List This Christmas? Sam referenced her high school Algebra teacher's favorite saying, Keep It Simple Stupid. Same thing applies when pitching your story. Keep it simple and emphasize what really matters in the story you're trying to tell.
If you follow all of these guidelines while crafting your pitch, your likelihood of success with a reporter will be much greater; and you'll build positive relationships with them along the way. What are some of your techniques for creating the "perfect" pitch?