Try this proactive approach to finding stories—and shedding banal pitches

Rather than having the usual suspects lining up with tepid and torpid ideas, hand-pick a few key sources to spot new developments and events that would captivate your audience.

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Maybe a client or someone in another department says, “Oh, we’re doing this thing, and it would make a great press release—news outlets will all want to know about it.”

You cringe because you know that nine times out of 10, the next thing out of their mouth is not going to be newsworthy.

That’s how most PR people get fodder for their outreach. However, if you want atypical results, don’t keep applying the typical approaches.

Ask them, before they tell you.

Of course, it’s not as simple as just saying, “What should I pitch?”

Let’s walk through the four crucial steps:

1. Select a few key people who have access to information and seem to be “in the know” when things change. These folks are often not your typical point of contact.

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