What Is a Story Pitch?
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.
Okay, so how is a news release different than a story pitch then?
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.