Press Release Writing Tips - Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 by

How to Pitch a Story to an Editor

Editors of newspapers, magazines, blogs, and other periodicals are busy people, always on the lookout for great content, they can pass along to their target audience. This means they are willing to accept story pitches which would be of interest to their demographic.

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Here are some suggestions on how to pitch successfully.

1-Know the magazine or periodical

It helps a lot if you are a reader already because you will be familiar with the style of the periodical and the types of things it publishes. Showing this familiarity by suggesting a story they have never covered before, or an alternative view of one they have, shows you are a reader who is paying attention and not just a marketer pitching ideas and hoping for a home run.

One of the most important things to know is how far forward they work. For example, many magazines start working on their Christmas issue in June through August, so any material you pitch would still have to be fresh and new then.

2-Research their demographics

Any periodical that accepts advertising will have detailed information on their target audience, such as gender, age, income, hobbies and so on. Whenever you are pitching, keep that target audience in mind.

3-Write an attention-grabbing headline

Editors get dozens of pitches a week. Make yours stand out in the Inbox.

4-A great hook

The “hook” basically lures the audience into wanting to read more. It offers a promise of a reward in the form of great information if they read on.

5-Be sure it is real news

Don’t try to dress up an ad for your new product as a media story. Make it newsworthy, but stick to facts, not hype.

6-Offer high-quality supporting material

For example, if you are launching a new product, use a good image of it from every angle, a link to a demo video, an interview with the CEO of the company, and so on. These can all stand out for an editor.

7-Offer a compelling marketing story

Who are you or your company, what do you do, and what is your business mission? How are you different from your competitors? Why should the editor, and their audience, be willing to pay attention to you? Keep it brief, but be sure to establish your credentials and expertise.

8-Send them to a media page

Don’t give the URL of your homepage and expect the editor to find important information. Instead, create a media center with all the information you would like the media to know about your company all on the one page. Include links to all your press releases, and to your most important media pickups, such as through pitches or your press releases.  This will show your content is interesting to others.

9-Personalize the pitch

The last thing an editor wants to see is a mass-produced pitch that has been blasted out to dozens of editors. Use their name, spell it right, and show you know who they are and what their periodical is all about.

10-Include a strong call to action

Finish your pitch with a strong call to action, such as, “If you agree with me that this story would be a great fit for your magazine, please contact me at (email or phone) to discuss the next steps.”

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