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Creating and Pitching a Story to the Media

Public relations can be a cost effective and profitable way to gain new and repeat business. Many business owners ponder how they can garner the attention of a writer or journalist to cover a story ...

Public relations can be a cost effective and profitable way to gain new and repeat business. Many business owners ponder how they can garner the attention of a writer or journalist to cover a story on their business or ask them for an expert quote. When you have a newsworthy story to tell, you have to proactively pitch the story to print publications, TV stations, radio stations and other outlets that may be interested in covering the story. There is a method to pitching the media that goes beyond writing and shooting off a press release via email or fax.

Do Your Homework

First, you need to identity the top five to ten publications or media outlets you would like to pitch. These are publications or outlets you follow, that cover stories from the angle of the one youíre pitching and that you have a chance of getting their attention. For example, you may want to be featured in People, but if your story is not the type of story they cover then donít waste your time. †This list may change each and every time you pitch or there may be some overlap. Itís all based on the story.

Once you identify the media outlets, create a list. Think about industry publications, local and regional media outlets such as local TV and radio stations.

Having a list of media outlets is not enough. Now itís time to take your research a level deeper and start to identify writers or journalists that cover topics and stories similar to the story youíre pitching. For example, if youíre a caterer announcing that your baked goods are now going to be sold in the XYZ Bakery, then the local newspaper food writer would have an interest in this story. The local business writer for the neighborhood where the bakery is located may also have an interest.

Why is this important?

Because when you pitch, youíre not really pitching to the publication. Youíre pitching to the person at the publication that can cover your story. Youíll need to feed their ego a little, and show that youíre pitching them for a valid reason by mentioning similar stories theyíve covered. In other words, youíre showing them that you know what types of stories they cover, and your story falls in their realm.

Pitch it

Since time is of the essence, itís acceptable to pitch via email instead of snail mail or fax. Itís not acceptable to pitch via phone. You can follow-up on the pitch via phone, but if you start off with a phone call, youíre just going to find yourself frustrated and fruitless.

Newsworthy topics/stories worth pitching:

  • Grand openings
  • New locations
  • Executive promotions/hiring new executives
  • Launch of a new product/service
  • Special events

Pitching to the media can be a full-time job. If you do it right, public relations efforts can pay off big because essentially itís free advertising for your business. Stop pondering on how to kick-start PR for your company. Think of a newsworthy story to tell, write a press release, find outlets and writers and pitch it. Efforts donít turn into a story every time, but you only have a chance for coverage if you make the pitch.

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About the Author

Copywriter and marketing consultant, Kristie Lorette, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses create copy and marketing pieces that sizzle, motivate, and sell. She is also the author of Action Marketing: A Step-by-step Guide to Launch Your Business Marketing Plan. For more informationFree Web Content, visit

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