According to Cision’s 2021 Global Comms Report, 42 percent of industry pros said that media outreach was one of the top three priorities for their brand. However, only 25 percent of those pros said they always knew the exact journalists or influencers to pitch their stories to.
Getting your story into the right hands and the right publication can be a challenge. Here are our tips for proofing, prepping and pitching your story.
The first question you need to ask is: Is this story newsworthy?
Newsworthiness is determined by many factors, but the three most important are: timeliness, impact and proximity.
A timely story is recent, aligns with an upcoming holiday or relates to a current event. It ties the story to something that is already relevant in the potential reader’s mind.
An event that shows significant impact has the stats or facts to back the claim up. You don’t want to just say you made a difference, you want to show it through things like numbers or personal anecdotes.
A story that occurs in proximity to your audience is close to them either physically or even emotionally.
The next question is: WHO is the right person to get my story out there?
Identifying the right journalists can be difficult, so here are our best tips for getting your pitches into the right inboxes:
Start by visiting the website of the outlet you are interested in and zero in on your topic of interest (i.e. business, startups, real estate, interior design, etc.).
Pay attention to WHO is writing about this topic.
Read several of their articles and continue to track what they are writing about and/or who they are interviewing. See what they are talking about on social media, too.
Now, you should feel confident knowing you’ve identified the right person to contact.
So now, HOW do I pitch my story?
You’ve already put in the research to ensure your story is relevant to the publications you are pitching, so now it’s time to write personalized pitches to each journalist (no bcc mass emails). And always, always, always get their name right!
Keep your email pitches conversational and brief. The language should be clear and concise.
Don’t forget to follow up. Show your interest in them specifically as the right person to cover your story. Sometimes it just takes a nudge to bump your pitch to the top of their inbox when they need it most.
For more guidance, check out our tried and true pitching tips, here.