'Pitching' your ideas to the media

Lisa Tramontana
January 3, 2021

If your role is to build relationships with your local media and “pitch” news and feature stories to them, there are certain steps that will help you achieve your goal. But try to be smart and selective about your ideas and how often you make contact … you want to develop a solid partnership, but you don’t want to overdo it.

Do your research. Identify the reporters who cover your company or its services. This might be a financial reporter, health reporter, or education reporter. Familiarize yourself with their style by following them on Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms.

Help news outlets as much as possible by providing information and credible sources for them to use in their coverage. If you work for a hospital, contact your local health reporter before the “back to school” rush and offer to set up an interview with a pediatrician to talk about vaccinations or the link between learning and good nutrition. If the economy is taking a downturn and you represent a finance company, provide an expert to discuss ways families can save money and cut expenses.

Remember that not every event at your company is breaking news, and not every issue is of interest or importance to your community at large. Make sure your story idea is relevant and has an audience.

When you do make your pitch, don’t be generic in your subject line. “Story idea” or “cool event” won’t grab anyone’s attention. Be creative, but not gimmicky.

Identify interesting visuals before the reporter visits your campus or office. Often, reporters are their own videographers, and time is short.

Once published, share the reporter’s story, crediting them and their news station by tagging them on social media.

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