5 pitching secrets from an ex-journalist

Having moved from news to PR, the author shares a few insider tips that can help you break through the iron gate and land coverage—and establish rapport with your media contacts.

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There’s an important—and, ideally, symbiotic—relationship between reporters and PR pros.

Good story ideas are valuable, but the presentation is crucial, and what public relations practitioner doesn’t crave coverage?

During my time as a journalist, I learned what good and bad pitches look like—and that most journalists simply don’t answer emails from PR pros.

I still don’t know the secret to getting a reporter to politely reject a pitch (rather than ignoring it), but there are key elements that help prompt a journalist to say “yes” to a story idea—or at least ask for more information. Here are five essentials:

1. Be informative, but concise. Make sure your pitch isn’t too long or too short. Journalists don’t want to scroll through half a dozen paragraphs to know what you’re pitching, but they also don’t want to be left wondering what you’re trying to get across. Include in your pitch: who your client is, their area of expertise, and why they’re a good fit for the publication. If reporters have to do research just to find out what the company does, they’ll be less inclined to want to write about it.

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