Once, I participated in a media training workshop. The instructor asked me and the other participants to each come up with an idea for a news story which we had to pitch to a journalist over the phone.
I chose a hypothetical, groundbreaking story: I was working for Novo Nordisk and I wanted to announce to the world that we had found the cure for HIV. It goes without saying that the journalist was interested in my story. In fact, I didn’t even have to try to convince him about the news value of the story – the story sold itself.
A pitching experience like the preceding one, however, is the exception rather than the rule. Usually, it requires a greater effort to gain a journalist’s interest – and for good reason: journalists are being bombarded by companies with stories of all kinds. Therefore, if you want press coverage on a story – that might not warrant publicity to the same extent as the aforementioned about HIV – the question is: what can you do to increase your chances of breaking through the media gatekeeping? This is where the art of pitching comes into play. Continue reading