Top 5 Tips For The Perfect Print Pitch
Pitching to the media is essential in order to get your message to the masses. Media coverage can build your platform, establish you as the expert, and reach your message to a wide audience. Unfortunately, getting your foot in the door with the media is no easy task. Editors, reporters, and journalists get hundreds of pitches every day. Therefore, you need to submit the right pitch that will get you noticed and get your story published.
Top 5 tips for the perfect print pitch
Tip #1: Choose a target: According to Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, author of Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and communication expert, “do your homework first. Know the magazine or website and their readers. Pitch the type of story that is important to their readers in the style that they publish. If, for example, most articles are in list format such as Top 5 Ways to Save Money in the Supermarket or Love These 10 Diabetes-Friendly Foods, you don’t want to pitch a lengthy article about your transformation from omnivore to vegan.” Make sure your pitch works with the audience and writing style of the publication.
Tip #2: Pick your topic: Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE, owner/founder of Sound Bites, Inc. – Sound Science, Smart Nutrition, Good Food and media expert who coaches registered dietitians for media, recommends to “bring it home by following the national news and turn your topic into a local story.” You can also offer third party experts who can speak about your topic to add credibility to your pitch. Make the topic compelling, relatable to the readers, and timely.
Tip #3: Contact the reporter: Dobbins states, “Google is your friend: Search the internet for the outlet’s website and/or the editor/reporter’s name, email or phone number.” Weisenberger advises to “start with the masthead of the magazine or review the newspaper. Then double check your findings with a phone call or look through LinkedIn or the company website.”
Tip #4: Follow Up: “Following up is good, but resist pestering the editor or reporter. Unless your topic will be out of date within a few days or weeks, don’t follow up right away. Instead wait 2 – 4 weeks. Follow-up by email or a phone call. I follow up just once. If I don’t hear anything then, I move on. If you are routinely rejected by the same editor/reporter, you may not be a good fit for the publication, so either pick other outlets or examine what you might be doing wrong,” instructs Weisenberger. Dobbins explains how “every ‘pitch’ requires a good ‘follow through.’ Indicate in your voicemail or email that you will follow up with them (and when), and then do so. I usually do a couple of follow ups and then move on to another outlet.”
Tip #5: Remain Confident & Determined: Rejection can happen often when pitching. Or you may just get no response and feel let down. Keep your head up and your ideas flowing. Continue to present your pitches to your target print media outlet. Also make sure to check out other resources on how to write a pitch and get further training. Dobbins offers coaching, group workshops, and free resources. Also read her article: Callbacks: Media Pitching Tips from the Pros. Do not give up.
Timing is everything. Make sure to be persistent, remain confident, and be creative with your ideas and topics. Sooner or later, your pitch will get noticed and you will get your message to the masses.