How to make sure you're writing a media pitch, not a sales pitch


So many of the pitches I've received recently have essentially been sales pitches - press releases or emails about new products or launches, someone winning an award or sharing a milestone or achievement in their business. Whilst these might have some value to the press, they aren't actually interesting enough ideas on their own. So if you're struggling to get your pitches over the line, it might be worth taking a moment to remind yourself of what a good pitch includes. Let's get into it. 

Remind yourself of what the media's job is 

...And it's not to promote your business. The media isn't there to serve as a mouthpiece for you. Their goal is to create valuable stories for their audience. So if you want the world to know you just got an award, have a launch coming or have reached a massive milestone, you need to think beyond how great that is for you and ask yourself what you could teach the audience in relation to this that they would find highly valuable. I'm all for using media strategically when you have an announcement, but the announcement itself can't be the only thing you have to say... capeesh? 

Know your audience

In your business, knowing your target audience is paramount. When it comes to pitching, this knowledge becomes even more critical. Understand the demographics, interests, and pain points of the audience of the media outlet you're approaching. Tailor your pitch to resonate with their preferences, and showcase how your expertise or story can bring value and relevance to their viewers.

Focus on storytelling that engages

While a sales pitch may emphasise product features and benefits, a media pitch should focus on storytelling. Journalists seek narratives that captivate and resonate emotionally with their audience. Craft a compelling story around your brand or experience that is authentic, relatable, and thought-provoking. The power of storytelling can leave a lasting impact and increase your chances of getting featured.

Emphasise newsworthiness

A critical aspect of media pitching is highlighting the newsworthiness of your story or expertise. Ask yourself, "What makes my pitch timely and relevant?" Tie your pitch to current events, industry trends, or societal issues to catch the attention of journalists. Demonstrating the significance of your content in the current landscape enhances its appeal to media outlets.

Focus on value and expertise

I know I've said this already, but it's worth repeating. Unlike a sales pitch where the primary goal is closing a deal, a media pitch should demonstrate the value you can provide to the audience. Showcase your expertise, knowledge, and unique insights on a subject matter that aligns with the media outlet's interests. When journalists see the potential to educate, entertain, or inspire their audience, they'll be more inclined to feature you.

Build relationships, not transactions 

Try to move away from thinking about pitching as a one-time transaction, because it's really about building lasting relationships. Engage with journalists, reporters, and media professionals in your niche. Share their content, offer genuine compliments, and contribute valuable insights. By nurturing authentic connections, you establish yourself as a reliable source and increase your chances of being approached for media opportunities.