3 ways to get a reporter’s attention

Most pitches and press releases are doomed to obscurity—unless they include three essential hooks.

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“The good news is there are certain elements that will usually capture our interest,” says Alisa Gumbs, executive managing editor at Black Enterprise.

She should know. She was previously a copy editor at PR Newswire and prepared countless press releases for prime media placement.

Her advice for breaking through, especially when pitching business outlets:

1. Strengthen press releases with stats. “We all churn out content daily, and the beast needs to be fed,” says Gumbs, “so it makes our lives easier if you can deliver releases with strong statistics.”

She’s interested in high-dollar figures like those used in the magazine’s headlines. “We recently ran one that read, ‘How I pitched my way to $500K,'” she says. “It was about a millennial-owned business that won a business pitch competition and is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for.”

Statics must be relevant to her audience of African-Americans. For example, she received an email last week from the Economic Institute. It opened with the line, “Low wage African American workers have increased annual work hours the most since 1979.”

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