Pitching Checklist

News

Ensuring journalists pick your pitch is difficult, even with a great story. That's why we've complied 9 pitching tips from top beauty, fashion and travel writers across the lifestyle glossies. Check out the pointers below, and ensure your hit:


Timing


Do a mental check before contacting a journalist – is this the best moment to approach them? Are they away? On a shoot? About to go into a conference? Check their Instagram and Twitter account; it could tell you a lot about their whereabouts.

A newspaper journalist is likely to have a morning conference (daily planning meeting) to establish the next day’s issue, which they will be executing until the paper goes to bed at 4ish. Every paper runs to different timings, but as a rule of thumb, a journalist is best contacted before 10 am and after 4 pm. A notable exception is the Evening Standard – best to contact them before 8.30 am and after 2.30 pm.



Personalisation


Don’t send out a blanket release to 100 contacts, they’ll just press delete as you haven’t tailored anything specifically for them – we all like to feel loved. Contact one journalist with one strong story; they’ll appreciate it and will be more inclined to work with you again. .



Research


There is nothing more hateful to a journalist than PRs who haven’t read their publication. If you’re about to contact a journalist, take a moment to read and digest the latest edition of their title along with their recent articles. The journalist will be pleasantly surprised that you’ve taken the trouble, and you’d be amazed how many PRs don’t follow this practice.



Exclusives


Make it immediately apparent to a journalist when/if you are offering an exclusive to a strong story. You’ll get their attention and they are more likely to absorb your pitch.

Take an interest


We’re all a bit needy. If you take an interest in a journalist and learn over time that they have two kids who love judo, ask them how the judo is going. Everyone loves to talk about their kids and the journalist will feel less exploited.



Press releases


Don’t rely on a press release to do the work – releases just offer background information. Most journalists assume you’ve sent that same release to dozens of other contacts. Certainly attach the release – or embed it in the body of the email – but inform that journalist of why you think that story is relevant for them.



Get your facts straight


If you are sloppy with facts, you will incur the wrath of both the journalists and your client. Double-check facts – it’s a vital modus operandi for every story you pitch throughout your career.

Be discerning


Work out exactly what you’re going to pitch and picture who this would be relevant for. Specific stories suit specific journalists and there’s nothing more satisfying than matching the two.



Be efficient


If a journalist responds positively to your pitch, respond speedily. Lose momentum, and you risk losing the story. Every (decent) journalist is on a deadline, so if you help them deliver something quickly and efficiently, you won’t be forgotten.



Keep these tips to hand! Download your pitching checklist.


About Roxhill

Roxhill Media is the real-time media intelligence platform. Founded in 2015 by Alex Northcott, the founder of the original Gorkana database. Roxhill’s topic-led media database allows businesses and PRs to target journalists and news outlets around the world effectively.

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Keep these tips handy, download the checklist, What makes a good image?