Have you considered pitching a story idea about your business to a local newspaper, a magazine or a trade journal? In a competitive marketplace it is wise to consider all forms of advertising to help promote your product or service. Having your business mentioned in an article or on social media (remember, journalists use social media as a tool as well) can help you reap benefits and attract new customers.

A pitch is different from a press release. A press release announces something newsworthy like the launch of a new product or an event. The style is more formal and it can usually be used as is. A pitch, however, is a story idea that you are trying to persuade a journalist to write about. The pitch is more informal, like writing a letter. Think of it as a written elevator pitch.

Journalists receive hundreds of pitches by email, so how do you get yours to stand out? First, start by finding the right people or publications. If you have a snow removal business, you may not want to pitch your idea to a food magazine. Do some research and know what various journalists specialize in and the type of articles they write.

How to write your pitch

  • Your pitch should tell a story and not be just about selling your product or service.
  • Pitch one idea at a time.
  • The pitch should be short and concise and have an angle that the journalist or publication would be interested in.
  • Put yourself in the journalist’s shoes and think what the target audience would want to read about.
  • Can you relate your story to an event that is in the news? Does your product or service fit into a seasonal theme such as Valentine’s Day? Does your snow removal business have a weather-related story?
  • Your angle should be something that would pique the journalist’s interest enough that he or she will want to contact you.
  • Remember the 5 Ws — who, what, when, where and why — when preparing your pitch.
  • Make sure to add your website and contact information to your pitch.

Pitching to the media requires research, an interesting story or angle and patience!

Learn more about ways to reach customers through the use of public and media relations and creative thinking.