Three Ways To Create Media Pitches Journalists Want by @ChristyALaverty

by Christy Laverty | Featured Contributor

Story is king when it comes to the media.

Journalists want to tell good stories that entertain, educate and enlighten the audience. So if you are looking for media mentions, coverage and attention you need to give journalists good stories they can share with the audience that will entertain, educate and enlighten.

How do you do that?

Well, it’s all about knowing what people want to know, the problems that need to be solved, and the issues people are talking about. You need to find simple ways to get plugged in and stay plugged into what people are talking about, including journalists. Once you have a beat on the topics that most interest people you can better craft story ideas and then story pitches for journalists that resonate, and, of course, entertain, educate and enlighten.

There are a number of ways you can go about crafting media pitches that get a yes but I am going to share three simple and effective ways to help you tune into what educates, entertains and enlightens an audience.

1.Google Alerts: Setting up Google Alerts will help you see what is happening in the world and in your area of expertise. Head over to  https://www.google.ca/alerts and start setting up the alerts based on topics and themes you want to keep an eye on. Once you have set up your alerts, you will get emails with articles and links of all the articles. For example, I have several Google Alerts set up for a number of topics, including media, public relations, and communications. The alerts will allow you to stay on top of the news and information that is important to you and your business but it also gives you the content you need to create story pitches that resonate not just with a journalist but with an audience too!

2. Twitter Trends and Hashtags: Twitter is a wealth of knowledge. While I have always found a great community on Twitter but it is the added bonus of information that I really love. It is an absolute must for anyone looking to earn media mentions, coverage and attention. Just about every journalist has a presence on Twitter and they are very accessible on the social platform. The other great thing about Twitter is that you can see what those journalists are interested in and the kind of content they are producing! But back to the Twitter Trends. When you are logged into the desktop version of Twitter you can see what is trending on the left-hand side of the screen. You can set the location of the trends or select tailored trends. Why bother with trends? Well, journalists are going be paying attention to what is trending on Twitter and so you should be looking at the trends to see if there is a story worth pitching to a journalist. Think about Twitter trends like the water cooler. Trends are things that people are talking about and clearly interested in and that is the kind of stuff that helps to entertain, educate and enlighten an audience. And we can’t talk Twiter without talking about hashtags. Paying attention to hashtags are also a great way to follow what people are talking about. Hashtags are often listed in the trending topics. You can use hashtags as columns in a third party platform like Hootsuite.

3. Health Studies: Health stories are very popular. These are stories that affect all of us and add a human element to every show or publication. Journalists really like health stories because there is always lots to a health story that educates and enlightens. Health stories can be very personal and that is key to crafting a media pitch that will resonate with a journalist. Just think about stories of ground-breaking research that affect people battling cancer, ALS or MS for example. People care greatly about these kinds of stories because were are all impacted in some way. Collecting a file of links to recent articles on recent health studies can help you generate endless story ideas. For each relevant health study, think about how you could speak to the story, what expertise or know-how could you draw on to add value to the story. Check out this site to help you stay on top of studies and health and science news http://www.eurekalert.org

All these will help you craft media pitches that deliver stories that journalists and their audiences care about and will allow you to share your message and expertise with a bigger audience. You will be plugged into the news and information related to what you do and understand the problems and issues of the audience so you can offer solutions to help people like happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. It is about finding the topics, themes, and issues that allow you to use your expertise to help people.

Getting the attention of the media isn’t about reinventing the media pitch but rather is about using what is around you to create story ideas and pitches that jump on the back of what people are already talking about. You are able to offer your expertise and knowledge to advance and enhance the story.

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5 Replies to “Three Ways To Create Media Pitches Journalists Want by @ChristyALaverty”

  1. Nancy Misra

    Wonderful Article. Just shared to four of my friends. Keep posting and keep growing!

  2. Kulwant Nagi

    Hi Christy, No doubt, Google Alerts are one of the best ways to stay updated. Have you ever tried HARO to get connected with the journalists and become a source for them?

    I feel HARO is the easiest method.

    Just give it a try.

    1. Christy Laverty[ Post Author ]

      You are right…HARO is great. I recommend to anyone looking to earn media mentions and attention to sign up for it! I like to call it low hanging media fruit. I often write about HARO and it’s importance to an overall media and PR plan.

  3. Lynn Churchill@Emerge Triumphant

    Good points regarding Twitter. I resisted opening a Twitter account for the longest time, sure that it wouldn’t be very helpful…but I am beginning to see the error of my ways!

    1. Christy Laverty[ Post Author ]

      There is no doubt Twitter can be a busy, noisy place BUT when you use it with a plan in mind it is super useful. When it comes to media and PR I think it is invaluable. Most journalists are on Twitter. Most journalists who are on Twitter use if for their jobs every day. They source stories on Twitter and look for sources on Twitter. It allows you to see what journalists are producing as far as content and you have direct access to them! Use it with a plan and come to the platform with a strategy

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