You’ve called your local newspaper three times in the last year to suggest an article about your organization. But each time, you reached gruff editors or reporters on deadline. They promised to call you back but never did. Or perhaps you tried to call your TV station to suggest a local feature story, but you kept getting shuffled off to someone who was too busy to help you.
Another idea down the drain. Don’t let it happen again. It’s time to send a pitch letter that convinces them to not only return the call—but to ask for an interview and a photo.
Why a Pitch Letter?
When I worked as a newspaper editor, one of my biggest frustrations was people who called to suggest a story idea, but couldn’t explain to me why my readers should care. When I asked them why we should write about them, they would respond with ridiculous answers like “Because we’ve never been in the paper before” or “I’d like to surprise my mother with an article about me.” Even worse were people who had no clue about what kinds of stories we covered. If they did suggest something I was interested in, they sometimes didn’t have all the facts or details at hand.
Also, more often than not, the people with the best ideas seemed to call on deadline. I usually asked them to send me a pitch letter detailing their idea. Then I could spend a few minutes reading it, and take a little more time to decide if I was interested, or if there was a better angle that we could pursue. If I liked the idea immediately, I could pass the letter along to the reporter who covered that beat without having to explain all the details of what the story idea was about.
Unless you know they want to be called, it’s best that you mail a pitch letter, regardless of whether you’re dealing with print or broadcast media. If you call, you’ll have only one chance to convince an editor that your idea is worth considering. That pitch should take no more than 15-30 seconds. So why risk being tongue-tied, or reaching a crabby editor who really doesn’t want to talk to you?
With a written pitch letter, you can get in front of an editor twice—once with the letter, then again when you make your follow-up phone call. A pitch letter doesn’t need to tell the whole story. All it needs to do is attract the interest of an editor or news director. That sounds easier than it is. Here’s how to make the process a little smoother.
Want to know more?
Download Special Report #7 “How to Write the Perfect Pitch Letter that Convinces an Editor to Write About You” for only $10.00.
In this report, you will learn:
- Why letters are better than phone calls
- Ideas worth pitching
- How to learn about the media outlet
- What you MUST mention in your pitch
- An example of a great pitch letter
- How to deliver it
- Tips for follow-up
Use the toolbar below to download this product and start reading right away!