PR professionals and members of the news media deal in information, with the PR side selling it and the media serving as potential buyers. Like any buyer-seller relationship, deals are not always struck. But, there are ways sellers can improve their chances of interesting buyers in their information – and can develop better long-term relationships with individual media outlets – if they keep in mind these 10 commandments of how to pitch a story, as told by Mark Dodosh, editor of Crain’s Cleveland Business.
2. Thou shalt understand thy media outlets. (i.e., who do they reach and what are their needs?)
3. Thou shalt be precise and concise with thy pitch.
4. Thou shalt be prepared to make the right people available to a reporter.
5. Thou shalt be satisfied with singles and doubles, rather than expecting to hit home runs.
7. Thou shalt not make a promise of exclusivity to more than one media outlet.
8. Thou shalt not present false, misleading or unsubstantiated information in thy pitch.
9. Thou shalt not expect the story to be tailored to thy specifications.
10. Thou shalt not pout if the answer is “no.” (i.e., “Sorry, but we’re not interested.”)