Your biggest media fears debunked

Don't panic lettering

When you think about pitching your story to a journalist at, say Forbes, what feelings come up?

Does it make you feel excited? Or does it fill you with dread?

For most of the people I’ve spoken to - people who’ve pitched to me, people who’ve done a 1:1 with me or people who are just interested in getting featured in the media - it’s the latter.

There’s something about putting yourself into a position of vulnerability (because we all feel vulnerable when we’re putting ourselves out there and asking or hoping for something) that sends our fear muscle into overdrive. That’s why I wanted to address some of the most common ones early on, so that you have my (hopefully) soothing words to come back to whenever you get a crisis of confidence.

We’re all busy people - that’s why I want to cut right to the chase. Because The Scoop is supposed to be a tool for you, not another arduously long newsletter to wade through when, quite frankly, you just don’t have the time.

So here we go. The biggest fears around pitching to the media - debunked.

‘My pitch will never get noticed!’

I’m not going to lie - for Forbes, I receive roughly 100 pitches a day, but when people hear that, it can send them into a pit of despair and leave their thoughts spiralling to one or all of the other fears listed below.

So before you do that, let me reassure you. Yes, I receive around 100 pitches a day, but only around 2 of them will be actually viable. The others get immediately counted out because they’re a bad fit or poorly written.

Over time, we’ll be going deep into all the tips and tricks I have for making sure your pitch stands out in a good way. It’s actually not that hard - you just need to know what to do. Because when a pitch is put together well, trust me, a journalist will notice.

‘I have no interesting stories!’

Ah, this old chestnut. We all have interesting stories, it’s just about working out which part of yours will actually be valuable to that journalist and audience. Now, listen up here - VALUE is something you’ll hear me mention again and again and is possibly the most misunderstand and the most important piece to getting really good at landing successful pitches.

Struggling to work out what part of yours is interesting? I’ll be doing a longer post on this, but start with these questions:

  • What are the most common problems I have to solve for my clients or in my day-to-day working life again and again?

  • What do I wish I’d known about my job X years ago when I started? What would I go back and tell myself?

  • What has been my biggest career failure to date and what can I learn from it?

Each of these is interesting, unique and, most importantly, places the focus on what VALUE you’re bringing to the audience, which brings me neatly to…

‘I’m not impressive enough!’

Most people make the mistake when pitching of just pitching themselves. I hate to break it to you, but unless you’re Kylie Jenner, Whitney Wolfe Heard or Oprah (for example) you alone are not a story. You need to offer a takeaway from your story. When you focus on that, it has multiple benefits - firstly, it makes the pitch more value driven and secondly, it actually takes the pressure off you and your story a bit. It’s a win-win.

‘I don't have enough time for this!’

If you follow the checklist I’m attaching each week for you, you should be able to get the maintenance side of this work done in just a couple of hours a week. Of course, when your pitches are successful, more work will go into working with that journalist, but by that time, you’ll be happy to do it because you’ll know that it’s going to end with some really juicy media coverage for your brand. The key here is consistency - a little bit of time spent working on this each week is better than a burst of activity once in a blue moon.

‘The journalist is going to judge me and I'm going to fall short!’

When our pitch doesn’t receive a response, we immediately think the judge has taken one look, rolled their eyes and sneered at your efforts before deleting it. This isn’t true. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that journalists are just people - we get busy, we worry, we have been through difficulties - just like you. There are loads of reasons why you might not have received a reply (something I’ll go into more detail at some point) but this is never it.

Overall, I think the best thing to remember when these fears hit is that you’re already being proactive and taking advice from experts simply by signing up to and reading this newsletter. And there is nothing that separates you from getting those big media features other than consistent and educated effort.