Each day, assignment editors receive countless pitches from public relations professionals asking them to cover their stories. Do you know where your pitches end up once they hit an editor’s inbox? Here are some tips to keep them away from the trash bin.
1. Know your news stories from your feature stories.
While news is new and urgent, features are longer, narrative stories that are not usually as time-sensitive. You can spend a little more time getting to the point in a feature pitch; good feature pitches hook the editor. For news, however never wait until the third paragraph to get to the point. Instead, let the editor know all the newsworthy information quickly. If the editor has to go digging, odds are your pitch won’t survive.
2. Make sure all the news is there.
If you are writing a newsy pitch, give all the information upfront. Do not section off the who, what, where, when, why and how. Keep it all together in one paragraph. That makes it easier for the editor to understand all the information in order to make a judgment about the value of the news. In a news pitch that’s all over the place, you lose the editor’s attention, and a great story risks becoming old news.
3. Keep your pitch concise.