Pitching tips from a former reporter

There are four questions every pitch should answer so that the reporter reading it knows it’ll be worth the time and effort of writing a story.

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They say that pitching is 90 percent of baseball. I would argue that the same is true for public relations.

Securing meaningful coverage is the bread and butter of a successful PR campaign and the most straightforward way to showcase results. However, as most PR pros know, getting the story placed takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Having been on the other side, I understand the challenge and want to share a few pitching tips based on my personal experience.

One of the biggest hurdles is actually capturing the reporter’s attention. As a former reporter, I can tell you my inbox was crammed full of pitches and press releases, most of which were irrelevant to me and my beat. It’s important to keep in mind that a reporter will only give a pitch seconds to pique his or her interest. Pitches should be concise and answer key questions a reporter will undoubtedly ask when deciding if a story idea will make the cut.

I had a tough news director who would drill me on the following questions each time I pitched a story to her. Be sure to ask yourself the following questions before hitting send:

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