Are you trying to break into the journalism industry? Have you found an exciting pitch idea but aren’t sure what to do with it?
If you’re just starting as a journalist, learning how to pitch a news story can seem intimidating. How can you sell your idea in a way that makes it newsworthy? Why are you uniquely qualified to tell this particular news story?
Luckily for you, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. By following the guide below, you can be sure to create a successful pitch in no time, so keep reading.
How to Pitch a News Story
If you own a company or business, you know how essential coverage in the media is. Pitching is a great way to get this coverage. Learn more here at https://blog.justreachout.io/media-pitch to find pitch examples that can get you the coverage you need.
When creating your own pitches as a journalist, you want to prepare your pitch from the bottom up. You need to cover all of your bases, so your story has no holes in it, and it has an interesting and important meaning.
Below we will discuss the different steps you can take to ensure you create a newsworthy pitch.
Create an Outline
If you have an idea in mind, you need to narrow it down to its simplest form. Write your idea in one sentence. This will help you to narrow your focus to what you want to dive deep into.
Then, follow your outline up with the who, what, where, when, and why. You need to think about what makes your idea relevant, why someone should care about it, and why now?
What is the hook of your pitch? What is going to draw in readers and viewers? Who is your target audience?
Create a few headlines that could go with your pitch, adding in SEO keywords if possible. A big part of creating a pitch is making it sellable, so getting ahead of the game in anyway way is wise.
Now that you have your focus points and outline, you need to do a deep dive into research. See if there were any similar stories in the past, and if so, discover if you can create a new take on it. If not, you may want to decide on another idea.
Research any possible leads, facts, or information pertaining to your story and add depth to it. Make sure to find any holes in your report that could create a dead end for you in the future.
If you are approved for your pitch, you want to ensure that telling the rest of the story won’t be extremely difficult. If you do your research right, you can instead be overly prepared.
Format It Correctly
How you format your pitch to a newspaper or magazine matters almost as much as what you’re pitching.
Will this just be a text piece, or will you add photos or videos to it? How do you want this story to look? Will you be working with social media at all?
Digital is a significant component whether you’re pitching to a TV station or a magazine, so make sure to map this out before sending it in.
Discover Who to Contact
Once you’ve completed your pitch, it’s time to decide who you want to send it to. Depending on what you’re reporting on, you most likely have a few outlets in mind that you want to work with.
Make sure your content will work for these specific audiences. You don’t want to pick something too niche, but you also don’t want to go too general, as your work will be lost in the masses.
If you’ve decided who you want to pitch to, research if they require specific formats or tones. Read through various articles they’ve already posted to ensure your pitch will fit with their content. It’s also wise to see if they already covered what you’re pitching.
Now, search for contact information, checking for editors’ e-mails, or looking on LinkedIn.
Send In Your Pitch
Finally, it’s time to send in your pitch. Create your e-mail, writing a catchy subject that will hook them and get them reading more.
You don’t want your pitch to be too long. Most people who are reading pitches are extremely busy, so they want to quickly look at your e-mail, get all the information they need, and provide a quick yes or no.
Introduce yourself, add a link to your social media, and let them know that you are familiar with their outlet by providing a sentence that describes why your content will work for them.
Next, outline all of your work in no more than one paragraph. Describe what the story is, who your sources are, who you will interview, how you plan to tell it, and why it will work for their audiences.
If it’s a visual story, add your photos or videos. Make sure to send it at an appropriate time.
If you don’t hear back within a week or two, you can follow up. However, don’t follow up too many times, and if you don’t hear back within a few weeks, they are most likely uninterested in picking up the story.
Time to send it to a new outlet!
Tell the Whole Story
Once your pitch is approved, it’s time to get to work. Make sure you know what’s entirely expected of you and if you have a hard deadline.
Plan out your time so you know how long it will take you to report this story. How long will it be? How much time can you dedicate to various parts, such as writing versus interviewing?
Having this ready in advance can ensure your success on this story and many more stories to come in the future.
Are You Ready to Send In Your Pitch?
Are you now confident that you know how to pitch a news story? Is that idea you’ve been sitting on ready to come out and be told?
If so, follow the steps above and start your pitch today! The only person that can tell your pitch idea is you.
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