The media are a well-educated bunch with good memories. If you don’t want to rub them the wrong way, avoid these 12 common mistakes.
1. Not researching the outlet
It’s important that you pitch the right news story to the right outlet. Media companies have to meet their customers’ needs just like anybody else, so they run only those stories that relate to their audience and to the heart of their publication or broadcast show.
You’ve got to research news outlets and make sure that your story is in line with the character of their content and needs of their audience.
2. Not reaching out to the appropriate contact
Within a media outlet, there are a variety of reporters, hosts, producers, editors, writers, and managers. Each one manages and is passionate about a different topic or “beat.”
Don’t pitch a finance topic to a fashion editor, unless it’s about “how to avoid department store credit card debt” or something else relevant to that person’s specific beat.
3. Not pitching an angle
Journalists are busy people, and when they’re sifting through dozens (and sometimes) hundreds of pitches they need to quickly sort through the piles of emails, faxes, and voicemails to find the gems that are going to break that day.