How to write a one line explainer that journalists understand


Last week, we talked about the savvy ways you can target your ideal customer through the media and I spoke about the need to nail down your one-line elevator pitch to make it easy for journalists to talk about what you do in their articles.

It’s also great to include in your pitch (because let me tell you - no journalist has the time to read a 500 word ‘About me’ section).

This is what I said:

Make sure your one sentence elevator pitch is ready

When you do get the opportunity to be featured in an article, make sure your one line explainer is ready and that the journalist has it. When they introduce you in the piece, they’re going to explain who you are and what you do so if you already have a slick explainer ready, they’re likely to use that. That way, even if you have been quoted in a magazine that’s not strictly related to your field, your potential customers will read it and know exactly what problems you solve.

This week, I’ll explain how to do that.

So here we go:

Get clear on what a one-liner is

A one-line explanation needs to be pithy and snappy. It’s the bite-sized explanation of what you do. I’ll give you an example: Bianca Barratt is a journalist on a mission to demystify the media for business owners.

Now, I could go into more detail here: Bianca Barratt is a journalist on a mission to demystify the media for business owners so that they can get more visible, make more impact and earn more money.

But that might be a bit wordy - there are no hard and fast rules here, so I’d suggest following your instinct. But…

It should only be one sentence

Even my longer one-liner is only one sentence. Once you start adding in more, it becomes a paragraph, which a journalist will undoubtedly cut down.

It should include these 3 ingredients 

Struggling to know what to add or to cut? Well, these are the only three ingredients it really needs:

  1. To explain what you DO

  2. To showcase your MISSION

  3. To explain its IMPACT or VALUE

So, for example, in my longer one-liner, 1. is covered when I explain that I’m a journalist, 2. is covered by the bit about me being on a ‘mission to demystify the media’ and 3. is covered by explaining what IMPACT this can have for business owners (gain more visibility, make more impact, earn more money).

Anything that doesn’t fall into that category needs to be cut.