Tuesday, April 15, 2014


When pitching the news media, we often break it down by various classifications, such as media type: print, television, radio, and online. Then we break it down by geography – national vs. local. Then we break it down by the size of the outlet – how many readers, listeners, or viewers do they have? Then we look at demographics – does this outlet reach the type of people we want to pursue? If it’s a parenting book, does the show reach 30 and 40-somethings – or is it geared towards teens/20s or seniors? Lastly, you must ask: How do you then divide a media outlet?

An outlet may have different segments or formats. For instance, a radio talk show may have guest interviews. It may have a segment for airing the news. It may have an editorial section to air opinions. Further, there may be more than one producer to approach. You need to determine who to contact and whether they say yes or no, you can still contact others at the same show or network.

For your book, think about the type of people you could possibly approach, breaking down your subject into smaller targeted areas. For instance, if your book is about political reform, you may approach those who cover: news, books, government, politics, business, and perhaps other areas such as education, depending on exactly what the political reform covers.

So for each of these beats, you can contact people that cover these topics. Let’s say you contact a newspaper. You don’t have to go to just the book editor. You may also contact the features editor or the person who covers politics, news, or business. There are section editors and there are also columnists, individual reporters, and an editorial board. You can approach any and all of them.

This is why it’s important that you take a methodical approach to the media. You can’t just slop together a media outreach list. One size doesn’t fit all. Further, you need to target your pitch to each type of person you reach out to. The book editor at a local newspaper shouldn’t get the same pitch a TV producer at a national morning show receives. A business reporter at a magazine has different needs than a political blogger.

Another thing to keep in mind when pitching the media is that the news works on ever-changing cycles and deadlines. Just because your pitch was ignored today, doesn’t mean it’ll get rejected next week. And if it is, try a new pitch the week after. It’ll take persistence to locate and reach your targeted media, and it’ll require resilience and fortitude to keep pitching until someone finally says yes. As long as your approach is comprehensive, targeted, and enduring, you have a chance at getting some media coverage. 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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