Monthly Archives: October 2011

How to pitch a story to the media

By Nyna Giles

You’ve launched your great business concept, and have flung open the retail doors. Now, what is the best way to get the word out about your vision and value to the community to attract more customers?

Yes, there’s Facebook and Twitter. These “free” social media platforms are clearly taking on more and more importance, but they consume large amounts of time and commitment to make any real and measureable dent in awareness building for your business.

So your thinking turns back to traditional and online media platforms to tell your story and get more customers. Clearly, news organizations such as Main Street Connect are looking for community created content. But what exactly is the best way to pitch these news organizations to increase your odds of getting decent coverage?

The first thing to do is to take an objective view of your business. What is your true value proposition? What has happened at your place of business that constitutes real news, or will have a real impact on the community? Who is interested in knowing this, and why?

The next step is to create a one-page pitch letter that summarizes this information, to make it easy for the news organization to fully understand and appreciate your story. Don’t bury your purpose in writing. State your news proposition upfront, why it’s timely and worth consideration, and ultimately of interest to their audience.

If you have compelling photos or video that illustrates your story, include them in your pitch. A great picture can be the key to getting the story placed. Also, provide the news organization with the names of important people who are connected to your story, so that you can round out your pitch with third-party testimonial.

Finally, and perhaps most important: make it a habit to read past stories written by the specific reporter or editor you are trying to pitch. You stand a much better chance of being considered for publication if you pitch the type of stories they are inclined to write.

For more information about pitching a story to Main Street Connect, contact Nyna Giles at ngiles@mainstreetconnect.us or call 914-843-6599.