Spotlight on: Pitching the media· September 21, 2015
As newsrooms shrink, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get journalists to cover stories. Most organizations make the mistake of releasing long press releases and firing them off to hundreds of reporters. Here’s how to stand out in a reporter’s inbox:
Customize the email.
Adding a reporter’s first name to an email is a good first step. Go further by researching his or her past stories and using them in the pitch.
Find a unique way to pitch your story.
Put yourself in the role of readers and ask why someone should care about your idea today. Use that in the first line of your email.
Press releases can be ineffective.
Most journalists don’t read press releases, especially if they’re long. If you do issue a press release, mirror the Government of Canada’s style. They’re short and have plenty of bullets.
Make a list of media contacts from a variety of backgrounds.
This shows depth to the story by not using only one voice from your organization. And if the journalist is on a tight deadline, a list can help him or her get ahold of various people quickly.