A few months ago, I shared some insight into one of best-known tactics in a PR person’s toolbox – the news release – here.
One of the similarly handy tactics people most often confuse with a news release is a little something called the story pitch.
No, they aren’t the same thing.
A news release is a document sent on behalf of an organization to targeted media to announce something newsworthy. These days, they are often sent via email.
While the news release features uniform information meant for a broad audience, a story pitch is a targeted story idea, event or interview meant for one member of the media. It is customized. It should paint a picture of why and how said topic is a fit for his/her outlet. It should showcase your own journalistic skills and some creative flair. It should avoid jargon. It should avoid canned quotes. It should have a link to images or video to give potential visuals.
Of course, a news release can be used at the close of the story pitch to share the broad information, but alone it is NOT a pitch itself.
Oh, and since on the topic of PR people’s tactical tools: a story pitch is also not a press conference, deskside media tour or informal media meeting. Those are conveniently detailed for you here, here and here.