5 ways for pitches to answer the question ‘Why now?’

Relevance and timeliness are two of the most important factors for reporters. Here are a few ways to make your pitch have some urgency.

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I’m a huge fan of working with the press. To take a story, build out all of the assets required to make it compelling to a journalist, and then see it through to a published piece is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

It can also be one of the most challenging parts of PR work. Sometimes, after working days, weeks and sometimes longer to build a concrete story—maybe a news announcement, a case study, data set, or trend—there’s a chance that even well-researched media contacts might still turn it down.

They may say, “Thanks, but I’ll have to pass,” “This isn’t relevant to what I’m working on right now,” or, “I’ll keep this in mind.”

There is a range of emotions that hits after sending a pitch, but if your pitches are getting responses like these, don’t panic. It could be because you haven’t answered the question “Why now?” How does one make sure that his or her pitch is relevant and timely, and reporters feel they have to cover it? Here are five ways:

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