Five Types of Story Pitches to Get the Media’s Attention
There are basically five types of stories the media loves to publish for the readers or share with the listeners/viewers. In order to get free publicity for your business or brand – you have to think like a producer, publisher or reporter.
So here are the 5 most frequently written news stories in print or broadcast media:
1. The Rags to Riches Story. Everyone loves these type of stories. So inspirational and people love pulling for the underdog and seeing them rise up to be “top dog.” Any time you can show “overcoming” obstacles in a pitch – that’s a good thing. The more dramatic the story – the better. Think about Tyler Perry. He is a media darling because he was once broke now he is rich.
2. The Outrageous Story. Something that will make people story in listen in a really busy world. Some type of event or incident that is so unusual that would make people go, “WOW.” The media loves sensational. Give it to them – especially in the headline of your pitch sheet. But no false claims or exaggerations. They will check you out – and if you have found out that you have “stretched” the truth or changed some facts, you can count on never contacting that journalist or producer again. You will be black balled.
3. The Controversy Story. This is an story that everyone has a strong opinion about and you feed one side and get “buzz” going. The controversy story is good when you are seeking exposure for say a novel that deals with this topic. You want to get people talking and by pitching the issue as a “devil’s advocate” you stir up readership/listeners/viewers.
4. The Celebrity Story. Anytime you can hook a movie star or rock star to a story or an event – you got a winner. Our society is celebrity driven. A brand name is worth more than money because it cuts through the clutter and gets seen, heard and celebrated. A good book to read on this subject is “Celebrity Leverage” by Jordan McAley.
5. The Piggy-Back Story. This is plugging into what they media is already buzzing about. Learn to be a “news junkie” so you know when you can capitalize on HOT stories. If they are talking about the World Series or the latest policy – try to pitch your story to fit with that. The more you be an added resource and offer a different perspective on an issue that is “hot” – the more the media will feature you. Once you’re in there, you can tailor your message to fit your agenda – but only after you have helped the reporter/producer out first!
Pam Perry, is a PR coach, social media strategist, chief visionary at Ministry Marketing Solutions Inc. in Farmington, Mich.
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