How to Pitch A Story to Local Radio
Your pitch is a presentation to someone. In the world of press and publicity, a pitch is used to get coverage of a story. This helps to promote your business. Keep in mind: a pitch to a national print publication will be delivered differently than a pitch to your local radio station. However, the format for both is similar. The difference is how you frame the benefit of your news. So, let’s take a look at how to pitch to local radio.
Make it Newsworthy
– This is always important. The story covered must be newsworthy to them, meaning that it’s relevant, timely, and interesting to their target audience. It has to provide value. So, before you pitch, make sure to review your news and/or story. Make sure the local community is going to care about it. FYI – just because you care about your news doesn’t mean your audience or the radio program’s audience will care about it. Look at your news through their eyes.
What’s in it for Them?
– In addition to making sure your information is newsworthy, make sure that there’s something in it for the station to cover your news. They want to give their audience value, so make sure your pitch addresses the value to the station and their audience.
Have a Media Kit/Page Ready
– Before you pitch, make sure you’ve prepared media kits! Your kit will contain information about your business, archived press releases, and awards and endorsements. It will also contain photos of your key employees, along with bios for them and anything else you feel might be useful to the media.
– Make sure you know who at the local radio station to send your pitch to, and address the email or phone call directly to them. Yes, you can call them. Email is often preferred; however, it depends on the person’s preferences. Personalization goes beyond addressing them by name. Be prepared to mention key points that they covered or reported on that you remember and that is relevant to your industry. In short, know what they’ve done and talked about it, so they know you’ve done your homework.
Finally, don’t forget to follow up. Chances are, you’re not going to hear back from them. Reporters and news editors are busy people. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested or that they’ve forgotten about you. Follow up a few days after you send your pitch. Even if they don’t cover your story this time, it’s a good start to a hopefully profitable relationship.