What I have found over the years of pitching stories and speaking with journalists is that the one thing that really makes a difference to the chance of your story being covered or not, be it on radio, TV or print, is providing them with everything they need up front or making it clear that you can provide it.

There are a number of things that you can provide them with or offer, to help secure coverage.

For TV – images/stills and video clips relevant to the story you are pitching – they will often use these as what is called b-roll and edit them into the story. Most producers have their own stock of images and video but of course, if you have your own, they are more likely to include you, your branding or location in them, so always worth having a bank of quality images and footage to support your business.   Another useful offer is other experts to support your story and ‘back up’ what you are saying. Having them ready to connect to the producer is useful – again, producers have a lot on their books but if you have a trusted partner, then it makes sense to include them if they know you and your business well and can speak to the story you are pitching. 

For Radio – short sound bites can be useful for example a voice recorded quote from you. Or any expert voice that you may be using in the story, or as part of an interview segment similar to how I described in the TV section above, can record as short sound bite.  It allows radio to hear how you come across on radio and gives them a very quick overview of the story. These are no more than about a minute in length. Quite often radio may use these as part of the promotion of the segment in the lead up to you being interviewed.

Digital and print – ideally always attach appropriate images to your pitch – a link to a bank of images in Dropbox or similar can be ideal rather than attaching. If the photo needs explanation as to who it is or where it is, then name/label the image as such or explain in the pitch. Make sure you attach digital quality but offer a print quality version should they require. Digital outlets especially, love having the images up front as often they will go ahead and publish the story quickly if they have it. 

With all media types, always ensure you include useful information such as the dates, times and locations of an event, or if you are pitching something timely, explain what the deadline is, or if you are pitching something topical, make that clear and the relevance of it.  If you are pitching to TV, offer up suitable filming locations, explain the location of what you are talking about, what space there is and that you can connect or provide contact details of all experts for the story. 

Happy pitching and stay tuned for more tips and insights on PR!