Not every piece of news you come up with will be suitable for every news medium, and in many cases, the success of your pitch to media will be dependent on whether the story suits the type of outlet you are pitching it to.
Obviously, it goes without saying that your story needs to be relevant to the journalist, publication or section you pitch it to. This goes for location and for area of interest.
For example, a news story about a new store opening in Chicago won’t be immediately relevant to a newspaper in California. And it makes sense that you would not pitch it to a Californian newspaper anyway, because the target audience (ie, potential customers for the store) will be local to it, and not living in California, therefore it makes sense you would pitch it to a local newspaper.
Similarly, if your beauty business has found a new revolutionary anti-aging solution, the motoring reporter for your local newspaper is not likely to find this story relevant and neither will its readers.
With most things in life, there is always going to be an exception to the rule. It may be important that you appeal to an audience interstate for your new store in Chicago, for example, to demonstrate the expanse of your brand across the country, or because you plan to open in California shortly. Here are some tips to help offer some relevance to mediums that are outside of the immediate geographical or topical area of relevance.
There is nothing more exhilarating than seeing yourself on TV or achieving an interview on radio. Imagine being offered a spot on a morning TV show or talk-back radio! While seemingly obvious, it’s amazing how many people are tripped up by this next fact: TV requires visuals and radio is going to require audio.
Unless you are a well known personality already, it is very seldom you will be able to get away with a mention by the presenter without making some sort of appearance yourself, either directly or indirectly. If you are determined you do not want to appear on TV or speak on radio (and there is no other relevant senior member of your business who can), then you are wasting your time pitching to these sort of outlets.
Before approaching radio and TV, consider what news you have to share very carefully. The relevancy rules above still apply, but because we have the added audio/visual components, other factors come into play.
If you are serious about obtaining exposure via any news medium, the reality is that you are going to need to comply to their terms and conditions.
You will need to make yourself available at the time and location the journalist specifies, for photos and interviews, and be prepared to talk on any topic around the news angle (be prepared for curve balls!). If they ask for photos and/or additional information, provide it without hesitation or do your best to obtain it. Remember, they are working to tight deadlines and will need your full co-operation. But the rewards can be very handsome, so it’s all definitely worth the effort!