Finsource recently got the inside scoop from Lauren Young, Money Editor at Reuters on what makes pitches stand out and how you can get yourself in front of journalists. Below are some of her top tips:
Research, research, research!
It’s very important to research and get to know the journalist you’re reaching out to, both in and out of the newsroom. You should have a good understanding of what topics they’re interested in, stories they’ve recently written and when they typically post stories (if they write regular columns).
If you decide to pitch a story idea, it’s a good idea to make sure that it wasn’t recently written about. If a journalist wrote about a story last week, chances are they won’t be writing about it again anytime soon... Come up with a new story angle and pitch that.
Also, don’t forget that journalists are people first and foremost, so do your research on Twitter and LinkedIn to see what other things they’re interested in besides finance. It’s a great relationship builder and keeps you memorable.
Become a trusted source
Getting a journalist to read your pitches isn’t always easy, but a great way to make sure they’ll read your pitches is to get to know them.
If you’ve never met a journalist before, try and meet them face-to-face as this helps make you a little more ‘real’ and helps them remember you. If you can’t meet the journalist in person, try reaching out to them by phone. Journalists get numerous e-mails so try picking up the phone – it may help you rise above the noise.
With all of that said, be mindful of the person you’re reaching out to. If you’ve heard they don’t like phone calls or e-mails but prefer to be contacted by social media, reach out that way. It’s important to play to what they prefer.
Keep yourself relevant
E-mail journalists comments about articles they’ve written. They enjoy your feedback and perspective, even if it may be contradictory to what they’ve said.
Timing is key
Pay attention to the news. If there’s a national crisis, it’s probably not the best time to pitch yourself for the first time to a journalist or hound them to cover your news.
Humanize your story
Journalists love it when they can speak to clients or receive anecdotes from you! It’s great to hear things that have actually happened or are happening. The story gets more ‘real’. Don’t worry if you can’t refer to your client by name, it’s more than acceptable to say “I have a client who…”
Go National. Go Local.
If there’s a national conversation going on, take your comments and tailor them to a local market and reach out to your local journalists. Local journalists love to build relationships just as much (if not more than national journalists) and are always looking for great experts!