Within journalism, many journalists and writers depend on the “pitch” which is a potential story that can be offered by many people who are looking for a particular story to be published. Journalists who frequent reports or stories often are filled with hundreds of emails weekly, and their voicemails and text messages are constantly blowing up from those urging for a story also.
A pitch can make or break a journalist’s career, but if the pitch comes off weak, or is delivered in an incorrect manner you may never recruit journalists for the particular story you are trying to cover. Here are some important key insights to remember from this infographic when it comes to pitching journalists.
1) Be Clear
Since journalists are routinely checking and deleting emails, make sure your email isn’t overlooked by avoiding a prolonged approach to the journalist. Instead, look to make your wish clear and concise, so the journalist knows exactly what story you want covered. Allow for an easy relationship between you and the journalist, by offering these stories or content articles in an open negotiation. Don’t offer the pitch with strict conditions, as this may deter veteran journalist.
2) Know Your Journalist
Most journalist have a primary writing style, so you should match this writing style and tone when you choose the pitch to deliver to the journalist. If the journalist typically covers humorous or cute articles, then it may not be appropriate for them to cover murder or assault stories. Know the journalist’s type of writing before you pitch to them, so you know that the writing style matches with the story.
3) Avoid Grammar/Spelling Mistakes
As with college applications and job resumes, spelling and/or grammatical mistakes can make or break a relationship with a potential journalist. Spelling mistakes show that you are either ignorant of grammar, or you were to lazy to fix these mistakes, which means you do not care enough for the journalist’s time. Make sure you spell their name correctly, and make sure all headers and subjects are clearly stated.
Before you send the pitch, whether it be by telephone, email, or even in person, make sure you are calm and collected once doing so. Any mistakes end the relationship before it even started, and in the worst of cases, it can make good pitches go right down the toilet because they were delivered incorrectly. Though it may only take short time, spell checking your invitations for pitches goes a long way.