Generating news coverage is a critical aspect of the public relations industry. In order to garner attention for your event, pitching your story to the media is crucial. News directors, bookers, and reporters get many different news stories from across the nation each day, so what can you do to capture their attention and alert them to your story?

Pitching to the media can be stressful. No one likes cold calling strangers, especially when it is imperative that you are successful. However, if you go in with a plan, this process becomes much less painful.

When calling, follow these guidelines in order to set yourself up for more success:

Know your story

This is one of the most important aspects of pitching your story. It’s impossible to successfully sell your story if you are not comfortable with every aspect of it. Before calling, you should know the basics of the story: who, what, when, where, why, and how. While this may seem simplistic, this is how you can capture the media’s attention by knowing the most important aspects of your story and selling them on it.

Research Before

Before you begin making calls, do your research. Once you feel comfortable with your story, do some extra research on the media outlets you are calling. This means looking at who in the organization is the best to call, what type of stories do they report on, and who their audience is. These are important aspects because you can change your pitch depending on who you are talking to. Some parts of the story will be more intriguing for some audiences, so knowing who their audience is can help tailor your pitch to have the most impact.

Confidence

Confidence is what can separate you from the other people trying to sell their story. Regardless of the story, if you are confident and straightforward, you will have a better opportunity with securing your news story. This confidence can stem from being comfortable and knowledgeable about the story you are trying to pitch.

Don’t put yourself in a corner

Once you have gone through your pitch and it comes time to see if the person is interested, limit their options. Posing yes or no questions will limit your options. By saying “Are you interested in scheduling an interview?” you are leaving them the option to say no. However, saying “What time is best for you to schedule an interview?” makes it more difficult for them to turn you down, and can lead to them scheduling an interview.

Pitching to the media can be tedious and disheartening. Sometimes you will get shut down more often than accepted. However, this is an extremely important aspect of public relations and can result in great coverage for your story.


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