Pitch the story, not the event.
That’s the message PR professionals received from members of the KOIN-TV (CBS affiliate) team in Portland this week during a PRSA event.
KOIN told us it receives 400-600 email pitches per day.
How can your pitch pique their interest?
- Think about the audience. KOIN wants stories that impact the Portland-area community. “Why would my next door neighbor care about this story? How will this impact the general public?”
- Help your reporters out! KOIN’s reporters and photographers have to think about prep time, drive time, edit time, etc. to get their stories. They appreciate any effort to help do the legwork for them. One example: while you’re pitching your news/event, tell them you will have a spokesperson available at a specific time and location.
- Think about the medium. TV is a visual medium. Think about how to tell an emotionally, visually appealing story in 30, 90 and 120 second increments.
- Find the right spokesperson. Relatable spokespeople that can help bring the story to life will help your story get on the air. One example: instead of pitching a scientist or doctor who led a health study, find someone who is impacted by the news.
- Think about your pitch for different broadcasts. In the morning, viewers want to know how the news impacts their day: weather, traffic, events, etc. Evening shows focus on the news of the day as well as on hard hitting accountability reports.
A Few More Tips:
- Don’t attach a PDF, as it’s another step.
- Don’t announce anything only on Twitter as, like anyone who follows a lot of Twitter accounts, news outlets can miss this in their feed.
- Try pitching both the assignment desk AND any reporters you might have a relationship with on staff. Reporters at KOIN don’t have specific beats, but can help pitch stories on your behalf when editorial decisions are made.
Special thanks to KOIN-TV and the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter for putting on this event for local PR professionals!