Sara De Sciscio, publicist at People Magazine, joined the Momentum team for this month’s Lunch and Learn. Previously an intern at Momentum, Sara discussed her unique role as a publicist for the news outlet where she promotes People’s stories to other outlets, such as radio and TV segments. Sara stressed three important steps when writing a pitch.
Develop relationships with reporters. Once you identify a journalist to pitch to, follow their work closely to understand their content and beat. Then, offer to meet with them to discuss how you can work together and find a way to help each other. Show an interest in their work and demonstrate that you’ve done your research.
Pitch the story, not the client. Explain your story idea and include the client in the story. Craft the pitch for the journalist with an angle that works for their brand. For example, outlets like Good Morning America and People Magazine love human interest stories. Keep this in mind when planning your angle to ensure that you’re maximizing your chances of getting your story placed.
Keep your pitch short and simple. In the subject line of the email, only include keywords (similar to the words you might use in a Google search) that will grab the reporter’s attention. The body of the email should include four to five sentences or bullets to explain the story. If you’re including a press release, send it as an attachment; reporters will ignore the email if it’s too long. Also, include useful videos or pictures to help create the segment for the reporter.
Overall, these steps will help you tell stories about your client successfully, help extend a client’s reach, and ultimately build their brand.