What Editors Are Looking For In Your Pitch
Editors of newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals are busy people who will usually look at each pitch that comes across their desk and decide within seconds whether or not it is worth considering.
If you have all of the elements of a great pitch in yours, you stand the best chance of getting it accepted and getting the publicity that will go with a media pickup.
Editors get lots of pitches, and most of them miss the mark. Here’s what they are looking for in a great pitch.
1-A personalized email
They want to see their name, the name of their periodical, and some details that show you have read the periodical and understand its style and the kind of content it publishes.
2-A great subject line
Without this, your emailed pitch will never get opened.
3-A sign that you know the audience of their periodical
Don’t pitch sports-related items to Vogue and fashion to Sports Illustrated. Match the content with the periodical. There might also be sections in the periodical that your pitch would be a perfect fit for. Mention this in your pitch—it will also show the editor you know what they are talking about.
If the publication accepts ads, contact their department and ask for their demographics. This can also offer clues as to who the precise audience is and how you can cater to them.
4-A sign you can write well
Your email should be error-free. It should also be concise and focused.
5-A sign that the story is truly newsworthy
A lot of press releases and pitches are nothing more than sales material. Make sure your pitch is about something that is truly new and noteworthy.
6-An understanding of how publications operate
Most publications have some sort of deadline by which they need to have their work in for the latest edition. For a newspaper or blog, it could be a week or a matter of days. With a magazine, it will often be several months. For example, most monthly magazines start putting together their Christmas issue in June each year, through to the end of August in most cases, for the magazine to hit the newsstands sometime in November. If your pitch is not going to be news several months down the line, skip the pitches to magazines and focus on more current periodicals.
7-That you possess a level of expertise
Editors get dozens of story pitches. The ones that really stand out are from people or companies that can be considered experts in their niche or industry. Offer a brief biography and mission statement about your company that shows you have the authority and is worth paying attention to.
8-That the content is unique
They do not want to see a mass-produced email offering the same story to everyone. They want to see exclusive content, that is, the story, plus photos, interviews with important people in your company, behind the scenes information, a demonstration video, and so on. Offering these items can make your pitch really stand out.