When it comes to public relations, getting coverage in a magazine can really boost your company’s reputation. But how can a marketer get their foot in the door?
A story pitch could be your best option.
What is a story pitch?
A story pitch is a suggestion for a story that you think would be suitable for that particular magazine. Magazines and other periodicals are always on the lookout for great content that will suit the interests of their readers.
Many marketers write the entire article first and then try to submit it to one or more editors. But this can be a lot of work, with no guarantee that the editor will be interested. After sending several stories that no one wants, you might even get labeled a nuisance not worth paying attention to.
A better approach would be to pitch the story, that is, suggest it. If the editor expresses interest, THEN you would write the story and submit it.
Writing an effective pitch
There are several essentials required in an effective pitch. You can pitch via email or phone, but these elements will be key to getting media pickups.
1-A great title
You want it to grab attention and make them eager to learn more.
What is the most interesting aspect of the story? It should “hook” the reader, or draw them in.
If we think of a few of the main reasons marketers write press releases, such as because there is an important milestone in their business, or they are launching a new product, these can usually generate some degree of excitement for the reader.
3-Develop the pitch with their reader in mind
Every magazine has their own audience who come to expect certain types of content. The pitch must speak to their needs because the editor is not going to publish just any story they are presented with. In most cases, it would never be possible to pitch the same story to Vogue and Popular Mechanics, for example. Therefore, your pitch needs to show that you are familiar with what the magazine publishes. This will mean doing some research, but it can be well worth it if you can get your foot in the door.
4-Be clear about why it is newsworthy
Far too many press releases and media pitches are marketing materials in disguise. There is nothing really newsworthy about them. Your pitch will really stand out if you show what’s new, why it is important, and why the editor’s target audience could really benefit from new product X, for example.
5-What added extra can you bring to the table?
There are a few things that can help your magazine contribution stand out from the crowd. Do you have an exclusive interview with a top person in a particular niche or industry? Do you have high-quality photos that can accompany the story? What about relevant facts and figures to provide a context and show how important your story is?
6-Tell them who you are
Give a brief summary of who you are, or who your company is, and why you are worth paying attention to. Give the URL of your media page so they can learn more.
Close with a call to action stating how they should get in contact with you to follow up.