If you were a beauty editor on a magazine or supplement up until five years ago, a pitch used to mean Chanel/Dior/Givenchy taking you to Claridges to persuade you (with tea/champagne/bags) to do a 5-page feature on their new fragrance.
They would give you an exclusive on the story (say the bottle, or the face or an obscure ingredient harvested only on a full moon) and you, and they, left happy.
Now those kinds of exclusives are almost pointless (try and stop a bottle or a celeb connection appearing on the web) and no reader will entertain so many pages of brand puffery.
So now if you want the kind of bigger story that will make your brand happy what do you do? The basics haven’t changed – give the journalist something they can’t get without your help. Access to a celebrity or an expert, an experience they can reflect on, a budget to shoot pictures with.
To deliver a good pitch you’ll know the age and interests of their reader, plus the editorial stance the publication is taking. You’ll know what is actually achievable within timeframes and budget, plus what makes the journalist you are talking to tick. Then you’ll have to be flexible around the concept.
Other than that it’s easy.