What Do They Want To Know – What To Include When Pitching To Reporters

The trouble with most pitches to journalists is that an over-eager marketer is sending them the information that THEY want to send, but not what the journalist needs and wants to know. Most pitches read like long-winded sales letters rather than attention grabbing headlines and short, crisp news articles.


So what do reporters REALLY want to know? Here are a few suggestions.

The 6 Ws

There’s an easy to remember formula used in many journalism schools that is a useful reminder for any reporter writing a story in order to make sure nothing important is left out. The 6Ws are who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Hitting all these details and doing it in a paragraph or 2 at most is an acquired skill, but one worth learning if you want to pitch well. Here’s an example:

For example, “ABC Publishers will be releasing the latest novel in the 44 Shades of Purple series, “Becoming Purple,” on September 10, 2016 at the Barnes and Grumble Bookstore at 123 7th Avenue at 8PM. Author Puce De Ville will be signing books and talking about the craft of getting started writing mystery and romance novels.

Make It Easy For Them To Connect With You.

Using the example above, give the report. If you’d like to get an exclusive interview with her prior to the event, please contact us by Phone or Email and feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Include A Useful URL

Don’t just send them to your home page and expect them to wander around and get to know you. Create a media room at your site or blog that gives all the information about your company that a journalist would want. You might also give them a link there to your press release if you are marketing a particular new product. The press release should link to a page about the new product, but make it factual using the 6Ws rather than a ‘buy now’ type of page.


A picture is worth a thousand words. A high-quality head shot of the author or nice clear photo of the item being launched are very useful to a reporter.


A short, sharp video that gives more details and an impression of what the person will be like to deal with (marketer, author, CEO and so on) can be very helpful. Think of the high-quality TED talks series and you will have a good idea of how interesting, entertaining and informative some speakers can be.

Quotes From Top Reviews Or Endorsements

One or two quotes from known names will give the reporter some good sound bytes to work with. Example: “The books kept me up all night turning the pages and laughing hysterically.” Ima Famous-Author

Avoid Geek Speak And Buzzwords-Give Real Information

It’s easy to fall into jargon from your industry or try to create buzz by using words and phrases you think will grab attention but are just filler. Get to the point in a clear manner. Remember, the clock is always ticking for a journalist.

Offer Help And They Will Help You

Whenever you are creating any content, let alone a pitch, answer the question, “How can I help?” At the end of your pitch, actually say it. “Please let me know if I can help you with any further details.” Then be sure to follow up.

The next time you decide to pitch to reporters, follow this simple formula, which focuses on what journalists really want to know. See how giving reporters what they want to know can make a difference to your level of success in getting media coverage.

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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