From Dick Shock, Shock PR
Writing a press release?
Pitching a story?
Ask yourself these questions...
"Who cares?" The primary gauge of coverage
worthiness for any publication, this is the question that asks if a
publication's readers will be interested in the story. The follow-on to this is
whether enough of the readers will care about the story. The story must be of
interest to a large enough audience group to justify giving increasingly scarce
editorial space to it.
"Why is it important or interesting?" Editors
evaluate if a story has the potential to impact/affect their readers' lives.
Will it help them solve problems? Will it give them information they need to do
something better, save money, be happier? If so, it makes it more favorable.
"Is it timely?" If the story being pitched is
based on an upcoming event, it is important to let the publication know well
enough in advance about it so it is on their calendar and they can assign a
reporter/writer to attend. Even if a reporter doesn't attend, you can send a
post-event write-up and photo to the publication, but make sure those are sent
as soon after the event as possible or it will not pass the timeliness test. No
publication - but especially a news-based publication - wants to print old
"Is it current?" If your pitch is based on a
specific theme or topic, it is always more appealing to a publication if it is
relevant to something of current interest to its readers or to stories now in
"Does it have the feel-good factor? Will it evoke an
emotional reaction?" This is a bit more subjective, but still should be
easy to determine. If a story will touch readers or generate an emotional
response, it has a much better chance of making the cut.
there is the "gut reaction" test that editors use to decide whether
they want to pursue a story or not. Based on their experience, they know what
will make a good story and what will not.
you've pitched a story to a journalist and the answer is "No," don't
waste your time - and theirs - trying to convince them otherwise. There will
always be another story to pitch in the future. Make sure that one passes the
5-point test and you'll be a lot closer to getting a "Yes."