Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Best Way To Pitch Your Book To A Media Outlet
If you had enough time to do something right, such as contacting a major media outlet about your book, how would you go about it?
First, research the outlet. What has it covered in the past on your subject or related subjects? Who at the outlet was involved in the coverage – a specific writer, talk show host, or blogger?
Second, what are the demographics of that media outlet – who are they trying to appeal to? Look at their advertising kit to know the answer.
Third, who does that outlet compete with? For instance, if it’s a national newspaper, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Washington Post go head–to-head daily for stories. They each think about and watch how their competitors cover things. Keep that in mind when pitching your story.
Fourth, think about the ideal timing to pitch an outlet. Do you pitch during a busy time or a slower period? Do you have a tie-in to the news cycle, a holiday, an anniversary, or an honorary day?
Fifth, what are the key story angles that you want to pitch and exactly how will you present these ideas to them? Will you do it by phone, email, package, in person, or via social media? Will you include other elements other than that you have an author and a book? For instance, do you have other experts, witnesses, or supporters to include in the story?
Sixth, do you have some interesting props or on-location items, to share with the outlet, to show how a cool story could unfold if done at a particular place?
Seventh, can you give your story a sense of urgency and answer the question: Why cover this; why now?
Eighth, what stats, facts, or hard numbers can you share to clearly support your story?
Ninth, do you have strong testimonials for your work? Can you get someone of name or stature to stand by you?
Tenth, do you tap into what people really care about – wealth, religion, health, politics, relationships (sex), family, life, death, power, humor, beauty, or nature/animals? You must get people to feel what you say, and to relate on a human level of whatever you want to share. Give it some drama and draw people in so they can get emotional. Will they be angry, sad, happy, motivated, or fulfilled?
There’s no perfect pitch or ideal situation to convey your story idea to a media outlet. The media constantly are looking for a great story and it’s clear that if you can provide something of value, something that matches what that outlet tends to cover and something that seems timely, unique, and helpful, you’ll have a greater chance of convincing the media to cover you.
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