Tuesday, January 28, 2014

10 Commandments of Pitching
a Story to a Reporter

Individually, each of these ten prescriptions for success might provoke a response such as "doesn't everyone know that?" But in 2014, many who seek to enjoy the attention of a professional reporter seem to have never learned the basics of sound media relations.

Hats off to Mark Dodosh of Crain's Cleveland Business for crafting these and illustrating them with great anecdotes during a panel discussion.

Here's a printable PDF and below is the simple text version:



The Ten Commandments of Pitching a Story* 

I.    Thou shall know thy audience (i.e., who are you trying to reach?)

II.    Thou shall understand thy media outlets (i.e., who do they reach and what are their needs?)

III.    Thou shall be precise and concise with thy pitch

IV.    Thou shall be prepared to make the right people available to a reporter

V.    Thou shall be satisfied with singles and doubles, rather than expect to hit home runs

VI .    Thou shall not pitch “angles”

VII .   Thou shall not make a promise of exclusivity to more than one media outlet

VIII .   Thou shall not present false, misleading or unsubstantiated information in thy pitch

IX .   Thou shall not expect the story to be tailored to thy specifications

X .    Thou shall not pout if the answer is “no” (i.e., “”Sorry, but we’re not interested”)


* as handed down from the Almighty to Mark Dodosh, Editor, Crain’s Cleveland Business


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