7 Things the Media Wants in a Story

Understanding what the media wants in a story or press release can help you craft a pitch or press release that will grab attention and get you more pickups and the chance for more traffic and sales. Keeping the goals and needs of busy journalists in mind can send your pitch or release to the top of their pile. Here are some of the things they are looking for.



1-Real news

They don’t want ads dressed up as stories. If you are releasing a product, make it about the features and benefits for your target audience, and not how great your company is.

2-A vivid story

Marketing these days is all about great storytelling. So, too, is journalism. Therefore, they can be a perfect match, provided you have a compelling story to tell about how your product X can transform lives, or service Y you’ve just launched has gotten amazing results in Z ways.

3-Something that speaks to their professional interests

Why should they care about your pitch or press release? Understanding them as both people and as professionals can help. They will also only pick up stories that they are sure will be ones their audience will care about as well.

4-Something that speaks to a niche or industry

A lot of people who decide to pitch take a scattershot approach and try lots of different media outlets without considering whether or not their story is a good match. They also look up a list of staff writers at a publication or popular blog but don’t do enough research to find out what the journalist specializes in.

There is really no excuse for this pitching error these days when so much can be looked up and researched online. If you are in the health sector, for example, don’t send your pitch to the sportswriter unless you can make a clear tie between what you are saying and fitness or better athletic performance.

5-A pitch that shows what you know

This can tie in with item 4. Knowing who each journalist is, what they write about, and their style and interests can help get your toe in the door. If you want the whole foot, discuss briefly some of their recent work and how your information ties into it. You can support what they have said in the past, or give them a whole new angle to consider. Show what you know about the niche as a whole as well, briefly, positioning yourself as an expert in the know.

6-Offer an exclusive

If your information is hot off the press and you have several journalists on your list who you know cover your niche and would be interested, pitch to them one at a time, offering an exclusive. This positions them as an expert and can wow an audience compared to lots of outlets carrying the same story.

7-Help them build their audience

You might not have much success the first few times you pitch, but try, try again. Show you know what their needs are, and how you can build their audience by offering consistently good content that addresses their needs and interests.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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