With the life of a PR professional revolving around media & journalists, and their stories, often the art for public relations professionals lie in creating and facilitating good stories. When writing media story pitches for journalists, it’s important to keep in mind that journalists are regularly shared and updated with new pitches and news stories, so your pitch needs to stand out and grab their attention. Here are some tips for writing the best media story pitches:
One needs to ideally start with a strong hook. The very first sentence of your pitch should be attention-grabbing and draw the journalist in. You can consider using a surprising statistic, a provocative statement, or an interesting anecdote to pique their interest.
Creating a strong hook is crucial when pitching a story to capture the attention of journalists and make them want to learn more. Using a provocative or controversial statement will grab the journalist’s attention. Making it relevant to the story you’re pitching will entice the journalist further to read on.
An interesting or surprising anecdote can be a great way to start your pitch. It can help to illustrate the central point of your story and make it more relatable to the reader. A startling statistic to highlight the importance of your story can also make a significant difference as long as it’s a current and relevant statistic that will resonate with the reader.
Also, offering a unique perspective or angle on a familiar topic to make your story stand out. Ideally using a fresh angle that hasn’t been covered in the media before will work best here.
Your pitch can also have a question to engage the journalists and make them want to read more. Of course, the question should be thought-provoking and relevant to the story.
Most importantly, if you can tie your pitch to a timely and relevant event to create a sense of urgency and importance, you will be responded to well by the journalists. This will help to make your pitch more newsworthy and increase the chances of it being picked up.
While a good story hook is just the beginning of your pitch, it should follow up with strong supporting information and context to back up your story idea. By using a strong hook and providing compelling information, you can increase your chances of getting your story picked up by journalists.
Also, as we are aware that most journalists are always extremely busy working on multiple stories often, and don’t have time to read lengthy pitches. Keeping the story pitch brief and to the point, while highlighting the key points of the story can generate their interest sooner than later.
It is critical to provide an appropriate context to the story. If the story pitch includes background information and context to help the journalist understand why the story is newsworthy and relevant, it will be welcome.
Journalists are always looking for stories that are current and relevant. Make sure your pitch is timely and ties into current events or trends to get maximum traction. If possible, please offer the journalists an exclusive angle or access to information or sources that they won’t be able to get elsewhere. Mostly this will make your pitch more appealing and increase your chances of getting coverage.
Story pitches should always be research-backed and tailored to their interests and style, clearly showing that you’ve done your homework.
Lastly, If you don’t hear back from the journalist, it’s okay to follow up with a polite email or phone call. Just make sure you’re not being pushy or annoying. But the crux is to get all of these elements right while making a story pitch, whether a story angle, news peg, researched data, and/or some exclusivity.
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