Before You Pitch to Media

by Amy Fallon

Amy Fallon - Journalist, Connect for Good profile image

Getting your story placed with any media outlet means getting it read by a journalist or editor in the first place.

That means you need a killer subject line.

This goes for any organization – whether you’re a nonprofit, social business, or something else.

As a widely-published and experienced freelance journalist and media and communications consultant who has sent off countless pitches and been published with top tier media all around the world,

I know this all too well.

But besides a catchy subject line – remember the fewer the words the better as many editors may be reading emails on their phones these days – there’s other things you need to remember.

  • Try to get the journalist or editor’s subject area correct and you MUST get their name correct.
  • Include a few suggested headlines for the story pitch, if you can.
  • Try to keep the pitch to about 400 words, or even less, if you can.
  • Check the timing that you’re sending it. (Yes, many of us are WFH these days, but sending a pitch to a newspaper just as they’re about to go to press in the evening, for instance, may not be a great idea).
  • Under no circumstances send attachments. Put press releases in the body of an email. You can specify that you have photos, and send them later.
  • Have a clear signature and contact details on the pitch including an email address and an after-hours contact number.

Have all of this? SEND!

Too much to remember? Luckily, I’ve created a “before you pitch” checklist for you.

Interested in learning more? I’ve recently started running virtual workshops on how to land or increase media coverage for organizations. These take in how to find stories within your organization, how to pitch them, how to follow them up, and more.

Everything is based on what has and hasn’t worked for me in the past and there’s plenty of practical examples, and a Q&A.

There’s a saying that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

Many organizations through no fault of their own may lack the skills or knowledge to pitch their own stories to the media, but if shown and given these by a professional could achieve so much more coverage and visibility on their own.

About Amy Fallon

I’m a trained, working Australian-Canadian journalist who has been published with The Guardian, CBC, The Telegraph, NPR, The Telegraph, National Geographic, Chatelaine, The Sydney Morning Herald, Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), National Post, Parents Canada, and many more. As a media and communications consultant, I’ve either written or placed coverage for clients with FT, Al Jazeera, The Telegraph, Radio France International, Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), CBC, The Guardian, and more.

I’m trying to arm you with the skills and knowledge to get the stories of the brilliant work your organizations are doing in the media.

For more information see www.amyfallon.com or contact me at amy@amyfallon.com