The overlooked parts of a successful media pitchBy Jacob McKimm
August 14, 2020
These elements can make your pitch soar if used correctly
Pitching a story to the media is a key public relations component. It is almost a specialty onto its own, filled with various pitfalls that can make your pitches fall flat the moment you first start the pitch — that is, if you do them incorrectly.
Although many consider the content of a pitch when developing one, what gets overlooked is time and pitching. Both the time you make a pitch at and how long it takes to make your pitch are vital to a successful pitch. These two factors are some of the key ingredients that can make or break a pitch’s success.
Use the three tips below to make sure you’re pitching at the right time and have the right length.
Pitch before the morning meeting
Each news station and TV show has their own meeting in the morning to set the agenda for the day. These meetings usually start between 9 and 10 a.m. In these meetings, staff members are expected to have their own ideas for the day’s stories.
Since staffers in the morning meeting are expected to have at least one story before the meeting starts, a great idea is to pitch your story before the meeting happens. That way, you and your media contact can start working out whether he or she will accept the story, and you’ll have planted the story in the staffer’s mind during a time when he or she might be looking for one.
Although morning meetings tend to happen between 9 and 10 a.m., this can vary depending on the outlet. Before you get serious about pitching before a morning meeting, learn when a media outlet has its morning meeting so you can plan your pitches before it happens.
Don’t pitch a story in the middle of a broadcast
During a broadcast, the staff is working hard to ensure it goes smoothly. Since everyone’s busy at that time, calling to put in a pitch will just aggravate them. You wouldn’t like it when someone called you out of the blue for something unrelated to a project you’re currently very busy with, would you? It’s best to wait until they’re off the air before making that call to pitch.
Keep your pitches brief
In the world of media, time is of the essence as journalists are very busy people. From hearing pitches to collaborating with their editor to get a story finalized, they have a lot to do each day. Work with their schedules by keeping your pitches brief.
To do this, give them the essentials and time for them to answer your questions. Don’t give a full breakdown of the entire story and minor details that can be cut. A straightforward brief will get their attention more than a long-winded one filled with everything a journalist could possibly need right off the bat.
When you pitch, it’s not just the content and relationship you have with a contact; it’s also when you do it and how long it is. Making the call for a pitch before the morning meeting, avoiding pitching during a broadcast, and keeping your pitches short and sweet can time your pitch at just the right moment to fit it into a journalist’s very busy schedule. A well-timed pitch can help give your story the edge it needs when deciding what stories are taken up by journalists.
Clients love Jacob’s speed. Jacob is an inbound marketing-certified webmaster. He earned an integrated communications degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville. Jacob joined Axia PR as an intern in August 2015 and earned his way into a critical role at our PR agency.
Topics: media relations, news media
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