P is for.... Persistence
You know you have a great story to tell. You've done research, crafted a pitch, and assembled your team to be ready to answer questions. You call or email the reporter you've identified as the right fit for your story.
Then you encounter radio silence.
Yes, it can be frustrating, and make you question your news judgement. Our advice: be persistent.
Here are 10 simple steps to nail down your story:
#1 Always follow up. Make a follow-up phone call, or send an email a day or two after your initial pitch.
#2 Rethink your timing. If you pitched a reporter in the morning, try the late afternoon next time (and vice versa).
#3 Tweak your pitch. Think of a new angle, change your introduction, or add a statistic or fact that better interests the reporter.
#4 Identify timely context. Explore whether a larger issue related to your pitch has been in the news recently. Make that newsworthy and timely angle prominent in your pitch.
#5 Reevaluate the story itself. If you pitched a story for print, consider whether it's better suited for television. (But, make sure you have the right visuals, such as b-roll, high-resolution photos, and logos.)
#6 Pursue another reporter at the same outlet. If your pitch to one specific reporter hasn't worked, try another reporter or call the media outlet's assignment desk. If you've been pitching the assignment desk, then try a specific reporter at that outlet instead.
#7 Use your connections. If you know another reporter at the same outlet, reach out for advice on how best to contact - and interest - his or her colleague.
#8 Repurpose your pitch. Use your pitch to craft an opinion piece or letter to the editor.
#9 Give the pitch a new hook. If the story you're pitching is about an ongoing initiative, tie a timely event or exciting stunt to it. Events are a great opportunity to generate buzz and create great visuals (photos and video) to be featured on television.
#10 If all else fails... save your pitch for a later date. It may become timely again, or you may identify a different reporter or outlet that could be a better fit.
Remember, persistence pays off. Make it work for you!