1. Don’t Pitch To The Wrong Section
If I get a ringgit every time I get pitched on a story which I do not cover at all…. Many times someone sends me a message about something I do not cover. It could be a health story and no, I don’t cover that. You wouldn’t pitch a sports story to a business editor. Please do your homework. Time is wasted and really, I don’t feel obligated to veer you in the right direction like a traffic cop especially when all information is available online.
2. Don’t Be Vague
Below is an example of an ineffective pitch. What show is this for? What’s so special about the individual I am interviewing (there was no attachment)? What women issues? There has been a lot of talk around this already. Is there anything new that you can entice me with? In this case, this was an association. How have the women helped with the development of this association? Give me bite-sized teasers.
3. Don’t Be Long-Winded
Can you get the editor’s attention with the headline? Can the first paragraph encapsulate enough information for me to want to read the second paragraph? Not too many paragraphs though. Tease me enough and include attachments if I want to find out more. We are all time-starved and the more you can get me intrigued, the better.
4. Don’t Be Impatient
Sometimes I get a text message whether I have received an email regarding a pitch. I will ask when the email was sent and sometimes, it’ll be 10 minutes ago. Unlike Superwoman, I am not faster than a speeding bullet. Give it a few days and if there is no response, send a follow-up email. It could have been missed. With about 20 shows on the Enterprise show, we are constantly getting heaps of interview requests.
5. Don’t Ask For Questions & Dates of Airing/Publishing
If you have managed to secure an interview you have requested for (sometimes it is initiated by us), don’t ask for questions. You can however provide angles and even give suggested questions for our consideration. Also, when these interviews are aired or published is the sole discretion of the media organization. Unless it’s branded content (ie, paid for), it’s at the liberty of the media organization when it’s the right timing for the interview to come out. That said, the decision for the story to not be published/aired is also their decision.
Hope this has helped in some way. On ways to pitch, there are many references you can follow which is just a Google search away.