How do you write a pitch?
It’s not “EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT.” We’re not talking about pitching breaking news. We’re talking about pitching a story. A story is different in that it’s not a “have to know,” it’s a “need to know.” Breaking news stories break because the public needs to know, for example, if a security breach happened you may need to know to protect your assets. A story is opposite in that what we’re pitching, in related to a breach, is how did it happen and what can we do to possibly protect ourselves in the future. Knowing how to recognize the nuance is important because you don’t want to pitch news to a reporter that really is only “breaking” to you.
So, how do you begin to write your pitch? Lay it out. At the start, you know from your research what the reporter your pitching has written about in the last several months and how they write. Next, think about the pitch from the journalist’s point of view. If they get hundreds of these daily, how would you want to get information if you were them? Keep it simple.
Draft the subject line of your pitch first. Here’s an example. Let the reporter know up front that you’re pitching a “story idea.”
Story Idea: Cybersecurity predictions for 2019
Second, include a friendly salutation:
Hi INSERT REPORTER’S FIRST NAME,
Next, write the body of the pitch and make it personal, short, and direct:
I saw that around this time last year you penned a piece for INSERT NAME OF PUBLICATION ABOUT WHAT, AND LINK TO A PREVIOUS ARTICLE. If you are working on a similar piece for 2019, please consider speaking with YOUR NAME OR YOUR CLIENT’S NAME.
Now back it up with facts!
PASTE HERE 2-3 SENTENCES OF YOUR BIO OR YOUR CLIENT’S BIO THAT LENDS CREDIBILITY AS TO WHY HE/SHE WOULD BE A GOOD PERSON TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS STORY. DON’T EMBELLISH. MAKE SURE TO LINK BACK TO YOUR COMPANY OR YOUR CLIENT’S COMPANY.
Always end with a THANK YOU!
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Make sure to include all of your contact information in the pitch, including your phone number.
INSERT YOUR FIRST NAME
INSERT YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME
On the next post, we’ll share tips on how to improve your grammar and spelling.