How to pitch a story to the press


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There’s a definite art to pitching stories and press releases to the media. While to an outsider it may seem like a relatively simple process there is a veritable minefield to cross when it comes to etiquette.

Here are some top tips on pitching stories and press releases to the media.

Be relevant

Read, listen to or watch the media outlet you’re pitching to and make sure your story fits in with their editorial style and story type. 

Like the boy who cried wolf, continually pitching irrelevant stories could mean the one story you send that hits their specification gets overlooked.

Be succinct

Journalists are busy people and get hundreds of press releases sent to them every day. Keep your telephone pitch to the bare facts and get the news  that will excite them most in there quick! 

If you’re nervous, write down the key points and practice before you call.

Follow it up quickly

Send the press release through straight after pitching it on the phone. If you leave it too late the journalist will have taken scores of other calls and forgotten about yours by the time it comes through.

Don’t pester

While it’s important to check your release has been received and the journalist has all the relevant information, there’s a fine line between being helpful and being irritating.

Follow ups are necessary but keep them to a minimum. In most cases stories have to make their way through a number of people and levels before they are published or broadcast so the journalist you spoke to will not always know if and when the story will appear.

Push boundaries

Publications like people with opinions and are looking for new and creative ways to present stories. So make sure you make your content newsworthy! Not always an easy task, which often takes practice and understanding, but always think about what you’re writing for and what you want to communicate.

Laying these foundations will make speaking to journalists far easier.

Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know and relationships with journalists are ultimately the most important aspect of pitching press releases. 

CG is the best connected agency and speaks to journalists across a wealth of media daily. Call CG on 023 80 238001 to find out how the team can pitch your releases to the media and build your company profile.