So you think you have an idea of what to pitch to the media? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Talk through with others the story you want to share and explore all the angles that you think are interesting.
2) Now it’s time to figure out if the angles you think are interesting will actually be interesting to the reporter and their viewers/readers. Put yourself in the end-viewers/readers’ shoes.
3) Based on what you know, define a story outline or the pitch in a paragraph about five sentences long.
4) Now look at that paragraph and pick out what is the single most important and tantalizing idea to communicate. Remember, you have to sell this story and it has to be darn good. What is your hook?
5) Congratulations, you now have your primary pitch with a couple of supporting ideas.
In public relations it’s not uncommon for a company to think big with a story pitch and want to try and say everything there is to say in one breath (of course this is one reason why I also recommend on-going public relations versus a once-in-awhile approach but that’s another blog post).
Keep in mind that reporters only have so much room to write or time to air the footage so the stories they want to cover need to be succinct and to the point. The stories also need to be easily packaged up so they can then “sell” them to their audiences.
In addition, from a messaging perspective, you want to communicate clearly and not dilute the most important key points you have to get across.
Downsize your pitch and you will get big rewards.
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