Pitching a Journalist

2015-01-14 by Richard D. Pace

Pitching a Journalist


Personal relationships are more important, now than ever before. In today’s hyperactive communications world – it’s become too easy to get in contact with someone. This creates a dilemma for brands or people who are trying to get their story covered by a journalist. Rather than being swept under the rug, you can get your story to a journalist by establishing a strong relationship with them. I have put together this guide for Everything-PR to help PR Professionals, pitch and get their stories covered by journalist’s.

Networking with Journalists in
Before attempt to pitch a journalist in 2015 to further your career as a PR professional, study the journalists that will be most beneficial. Create a contact list of journalists that fit the needs of public relations professionals. Review their journalism associates and network contacts. These are usually found in a Journalism Guide or reference manual.

Increase Your Visibility among Journalists
In order to gain the attention of a journalist as a publicist, it’s important to be highly visible in journalism circles.

A key point for public relations professionals is to become more visible by attending meetings of journalism groups and events. Some of these are by invitation only. If this is the case, make contact with local media to ask about getting an affiliate press pass to attend journalism conferences, meetings and events that allow limited public attendance.

Publicists in good standing rarely have difficulty gaining entrance. While in attendance at these journalism meetings and events, seek out the journalists who fit the needs of publicists. For example, a publicist who specializes in celebrity PR might want to introduce themselves to the professional journalists who regularly supervises arts, entertain and sports press released and articles.

Journalism Organizations and Affiliate Memberships
It also may be advantageous to gain membership as an affiliated member in journalism organizations and associations. Many of these groups welcome affiliates who can help increase ads and promotions or provide valuable input and content. Be vigilant of local, state and national organizations to increase contacts. The important part of making contacts is to develop professional relationships with the most prestigious journalists.

Pitfalls to Avoid as a PR Professional
Depending on the particular discipline of the publicist, there can be pitfalls to avoid as a PR professional. One of these pitfalls is not maintaining viable connections in social media and online. As a result of the gap in social media connections, the creation of a network with journalists can be a failed effort. This relates back to the visibility factor. Creating a reliable journalism network should be supported by regular communication between PR professionals and journalists. Another pitfall to avoid is inaccurate assessment of the relationship between the professional publicist and journalist. Not all of these relationships are lasting friendships. Journalists are hugely busy members of the media and live according to the editorial deadlines. Your socializing time as a publicist may not be the same as your journalism contacts.

Your Journalism Network at Work
When a professional publicist takes the time to create a solid journalism network, these relationships can last for the life of a career. This requires a certain amount of flexibility and familiarity. It also requires good will in sharing valuable news items. A healthy exchange of ideas between publicist and journalist can result in excellent articles and content based on mutual assistance. Focus on the types of publicity that falls in line with current readership trends.

It’s possible to disseminate parts of publicity stories and research data to journalism contacts to save them time and additional effort. This is also a way to offer “items” that keep lines of communication open and PR pros and Journalists in regular contact. The pay back for such responsiveness to journalists’ needs often results in a reciprocal exchange of information. Where applicable, such information exchanges can elevate the status of the PR professional and may also result in additional credits as a journalism “source.”

Everything Public Relations News Insights Author Richard D. Pace