December 22, 2011

"So What?" & "Who Cares?"

There are two common pitches that I write: a general pitch that accompanies a press release to provide additional context; and a targeted pitch that is written for a specific journalist/publication.
In either case, I like to keep my pitches to two paragraphs. Yes, you read that right, two. The first, painting the picture of the industry issue, challenge, or trend; the second proposing a discussion with a spokesperson to discuss the news and/or their perspective on the topic at hand. When possible I try to reference (linking to, not attaching) additional resources such as analyst reports, case studies, video testimonials, relevant product information, or other industry news.
I think all reporters expect at some point a plug for the company and its technology is going to come up in the interview. So while some may disagree with me, unless the pitch is about a new product or you’re working with a new journalist that needs the background info, I prefer to leave it out of the pitch unless it’s specifically relevant to the discussion.
My general rule of thumb: write a pitch reflecting a story that a reporter can immediately see him/herself writing, provide relevant supporting information and context, and forget the sales pitch!


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