The internet gives us the ability to tell our own stories. However, pitching stories to the media is still a worthwhile exercise. Even today, news media reaches a wider audience and gives credibility to the story and, by extension, your organization.
However, pitching isn’t as simple as calling a media outlet and asking them to run a story. Create a successful pitch using the four components of the RPIE process: Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation.
Look at potential media outlets and review the “beats” they cover, their audience, editorial calendars and reputation. These basics will help you find the media you want to approach. Once you’ve chosen a publication, take time to learn about the editor or reporter on the right beat and familiarize yourself with their previous work.
This part sometimes coincides with the research stage. The basic details of the pitch are needed to decide if the story is newsworthy and, therefore, something a journalist will want to pursue. A newsworthy story usually hits six components: Timeliness, Impact, Prominence, Proximity, Conflict and Human interest.
Once you’ve found your newsworthy story, make things easier on the reporter who will write the story. Decide who the subject matter expert (SME) will be and prepare talking points. Find other important people and schedule those interviews. Doing this in advance helps you reach your goals with the story.
It’s time to make the pitch. Whether you do it in person, by video call, or over email, have the presentation or documents ready for the editor or reporter you’ll be pitching to. Study and practice in advance, so you’re prepared for anything.
Additionally, knowing the best day and times to send a pitch can be critical. Most journalists prefer to receive pitches in the morning or early afternoon. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid sending pitches on Fridays and aim for earlier in the week.
Once you’ve pitched the story, one of two things will happen. It will be declined or the story will be pursued. If the pitch declined, analyze how it could be improved and potentially pitch it to another media outlet on your list. If the pitch was successful, look at the process as a whole. Does the published story accomplish established goals? What worked and didn’t work during the lead-up to the story being published?
Media pitching is one of the many tools utilized by our public relations team to elevate organizations and bring all they have to offer to the right audience. Learn more about our PR services and contact us today to get started on achieving your PR goals.