4 (plus one) Sure-Fire Tips to Grab the Media’s Interest
Synopsis: The story is king when it comes to the media. Your challenge is to discover how to pitch that story in a compelling way, in a way that will be sure to grab the media’s attention. But to do so, you need to find how to spark and hold their interest. The following are some sure-fire tips:
The media is working as hard to find good stories as you are (or should be) to land a story. People tend to think of producers and editors as cold, aloof and above-it-all. While on occasion, you’ll probably meet one or two who act that way, generally they’re a warm bunch. They’re people just like the rest of us trying to do their job. I’ve worked both as a freelance journalist and as the editor-in-chief of two publications and can tell you from first-hand experience, it’s not easy work. You’re constantly working on deadlines. Stories are always falling through; you’re continually looking for that next story. So you see, if you position yourself more as an ally than a salesperson, you can become a real lifesaver for some harried media professionals. But to do so, you need to find how to spark and hold their interest. The following are some sure fire tips:
1) Land your own reality show and marry a celebrity. Okay, that one doesn’t count – but it would work.
2) Find stories that are already being covered in the media. Now get creative, discover a way to use your expertise to address the issue. This won’t work with all stories, but if you’re an attorney and a legal case is in the news, you can position yourself as an expert to discuss the case or the issues. You don’t have to be one of the attorneys directly involved in the case. What you need to do is present yourself as an expert who can address the topic.
3) Find a strong local, human interest-oriented angle to your story. When pitching the local media, keep the emphasis on the word “local.” If you’re a hometown gal or guy that has created a new product or service, talk about your roots to the city or the community. Bring the local angle and flavor to your story.
4) Always keep in mind that you don’t want to pitch your product or service to the media; you want to pitch the outcome and the benefits. For example, if you’re a physician, don’t pitch your expertise, pitch a patient story that the media can follow. Give them a story.
5) Develop an underdog story, one where you beat the odds and won. Everyone roots for the underdog and those types of stories have a great narrative. You’re able to tell a full story complete with the problem, the journey and the ultimate overcoming-the-odds conclusion.
It all comes down to pitching an interesting story. The story is king when it comes to the media. Your challenge is to discover how to pitch that story in a compelling way. Keep these tips in mind and use them when pitching. They work!