How to Pitch Your Story to Local Media

One of the most common goals for press releases and press release marketing is to get media coverage. It’s true that a press release can help you achieve an abundance of goals even if the media doesn’t pick it up. However, those goals can be multiplied when the media takes notice of your company or organization. 

Generally speaking there is a ladder effect. If you want national or even global coverage, it usually starts with local media. Of course, if your market is local then you definitely want local media to cover your business and your story. So, 9 times out of 10, any media coverage goals need to begin with local media. Pitching to them is the next step, and pitching can be a process. 

Let’s take a look at some steps and tips to help you pitch your story to local media.

1. Identify Local Media Reps That Cover Your Area of Interest

It’s important to do your research. Learn the reporters in your community who cover the type of information or industry that you’re presenting. You probably don’t want to send a technology piece to a food and dining reporter, for example. Once you’ve identified the right people, spend time reading their material and information. Get to know the types of stories they prefer to cover and look for patterns in the type of information they like to present.

2. Get Your Materials Together

In addition to creating a press release to send to local media representatives, you’ll want to create collateral or supplemental materials as well. These might include data and statistics, white papers, infographics, videos and even a more extensive media kit including company bios of upper management.

Make sure that you have all of the information ready for when the media representative contacts you. You don’t want to have to pull them together at the last minute, and you can tell them in your pitch that you have collateral materials available for them to view. 

3. Don’t Hit Them All

Reporters and media representatives know one another. It’s a small world and it will get around if you’re sending every single reporter the same pitch. Choose one or two and pitch. If you don’t get a response from them, you can then make a decision about whether you’ll try them again or try someone new. 

4. Write a Concise and Professional Message

Your pitch should be short and sweet. Include why your story is relevant to them, and what the point of your story is. Keep in mind that you just need to hit the highpoints; you don’t need to write the story for them. You might also include any links to previous news coverage and a link to your campaign. Don’t forget your contact information. 

5. Following Up 

You’ll want to follow up with the reporter if you don’t hear back from them after a week or so. Sometimes it can require a bit of patience. Most media outlets prefer email, but if they have a phone number posted, consider giving them a call. 

Pitching to the media is never easy. It can take time to create a relationship with your local media. Choose your targets, create your plan and your supplemental materials and then look for opportunities to tell your story.

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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