Pitch Perfect: Delivering Impact through Authentic Storytelling

March 25, 2024

There is a common misconception that there is a 100% correct way to pitch a reporter. Anyone who believes that has never been on the receiving end of a pitch. While there are certainly best practices, the most successful people understand the differences between outlets and reporters and tailor pitches accordingly. Your pitch should be as unique as the story you want told.

Do Your Research

Before reaching out to a reporter, take the time to research their beat, past articles, and the publication they write for. Understand what topics they typically cover and what interests them. Take the time to personalize your pitch. Small tweaks to your opening line that indicate you have done your research can be the difference between your email getting read or being deleted.

Know Your Audience

As you research reporters, it’s crucial that you understand your own audience for any given story. Consider the nature of the pitch. Is it visual? Is it data-heavy? Then consider an outlet’s medium and audience. Understand who reads their articles, watches their pieces, or listens to their show as well as what type of content resonates with them. Your pitch should be crafted with the publication’s audience in mind, ensuring that it offers value and relevance.

Be Specific & Concise

A clear and specific pitch is more likely to grab a reporter’s attention than a vague or broad one. Provide concrete details about your story idea, including key angles, potential sources, and any relevant data or statistics. By painting a vivid picture of the story you’re proposing, you make it easier for the reporter to understand its potential value. Reporters are busy professionals with limited time and tight deadlines, so keep your pitch concise and to the point, focusing on the most important information. Aim to convey your message in a few paragraphs or bullet points, highlighting the most compelling aspects of your story idea.

Your headline should walk a fine line – grabby without being clickbait. Think about how a story would be teased by an anchor before tossing to break, or how it would appear on the front page of a newspaper.

Be Authentic

Authenticity is key when pitching a reporter. Avoid using generic templates or overly salesy language. Instead, be genuine and transparent about your story idea and why you believe it’s worth their attention. Reporters appreciate sincerity and are more likely to engage with pitches that come across as authentic. Remember that there is a human on the receiving end of your pitch and speak to them in the same manner that you’d like to be spoken to.

Find a Voice

Journalists are storytellers. If you ask a reporter why they entered the field in the first place, there is a good chance you will hear an anecdote about holding power to account and amplifying people’s voices. Finding a voice to tell the story behind the data and including them in your pitch is a great way to help a reporter connect with the story. People relate to people, and reporters are no different. At LSG, that is one of our foundational beliefs. When you amplify, measure, and harness people’s voices, you create impact.

Overall, pitching a reporter requires careful preparation, thoughtful consideration, and effective communication. No two stories are exactly alike, and no two reporters are exactly alike, so its unsurprising that pitches using generic templates are rarely successful. Creating human connections with reporters will always win out in the end. Pick up the phone and call, ask to grab a coffee, or connect with them on social media. One great pitch may result in a good story, but solid connections with reporters can lead to a lasting relationship that creates impact across clients.

Please contact Molly Roecker if you are interested in learning more on how LSG can be your partner in developing and executing authentic earned media strategies that tell your story, promote your products and services, and amplify your brand.