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What to include in your pitch to the media

Savannah Burns
What to include in your pitch to the media

One of the best pieces of advice to follow when creating a pitch to share with the news media is get to the point. 

But how to pitch the media succinctly and at the same time include needed information is not exactly clear. This post will attempt to shed some light on the basics of what you need to include in your media pitches.

News hook 

Every pitch needs this. If you can make the case for why your news announcement matters then your chances of getting in the news are slim to none. During the response to the pandemic, we saw a variety of companies pivot their business model to help provide badly needed supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer. The news hook for them was how they were changing their product to help address the scarcity of supplies needed by local hospitals and other essential services. 

Introductory paragraph

This is your opening paragraph and should be short and to the point. It should contain the news hook and provide a few of the most essential details. Say for example a home cleaning company is launching a new offering for homes where a person recovered from COVID and needs a thorough cleaning. The intro paragraph should tell the journalist why the new service was launched. If there’s a date for when the new service goes live then consider including that.

Include data

One thing journalists love is numbers that support a story pitch. One reason is that they are all about covering the facts behind what is impacting the world around us. The key is to tie your news to any social, economic or technology trends. 

For instance, one of the unexpected trends arising from the pandemic included more people looking for ways to stay fit at home after their gyms were forced to close. Bicycle shops were lucky recipients of the push for at-home fitness products as many sought ways to stay in shape and get out of the house. A bicycle shop owner could cite a surge in online orders for bikes and wait times for in-shop purchases in order to make the case that bicycle sales reflects a broader trend among U.S. consumers.

Marketing collateral

While not always needed, if you are sharing information about a new product then it’s wise to have pictures and detailed information about the product in an easy-to-read format for journalists. This will ensure that the key facts about your new product are accurately and comprehensively described by any media coverage. The last thing you want is incomplete or inaccurate information about your brand new product as it hits the shelves or online marketplace. Be sure to have high-resolution pictures of your product in a digital format so that it presents well online. 

Press release 

If your pitch has a press release, feel free to either paste it below your email or include a link in the intro paragraph. The press release, while not a requirement, can and should expand upon the pitch by giving even more information for the journalist. It’s an opportunity to give more details about the product or service, and provide a quote or two from your company spokesperson and even a customer to add a personal opinion about the announcement. Feel free to check out our prior post on how to write a press release for more information. 

Contact information

Lastly, don’t forget to include your contact information at the end. With journalists always on the go, trying to meet deadlines and often working across different time zones, sometimes email correspondence may not be the quickest form of communication. Leave your phone number so the journalist can call (or text) you directly rather than impatiently waiting on a return email. The more flexible you are, the more likely they are to work with you in the future. 

About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a marketing and communications intern for Swyft, which has been listed as one of the best PR firms in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite offices where it offers PR in San Francisco.

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