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[10 on Tuesday] How to Pitch a Preservation Story to the News Media
 

[10 on Tuesday] How to Pitch a Preservation Story to the News Media

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Historic places have important stories to tell, and it is important to share these with the community and nation at large. ...

Historic places have important stories to tell, and it is important to share these with the community and nation at large.

Pitching a preservation story to a reporter -- i.e., alerting them to all the good work you’re doing -- can seem daunting the first time. While you might have an excellent idea, perhaps you don’t know how to approach a reporter or frame your story.

This toolkit offers 10 basic tips to get you started with media outreach. The more you know, the better your chances are for reaching the right media outlets and sharing your preservation story with the wider world.

http://www.PreservationNation.org

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    [10 on Tuesday] How to Pitch a Preservation Story to the News Media [10 on Tuesday] How to Pitch a Preservation Story to the News Media Presentation Transcript

    • Get Your Story Heard10 Tips on Pitching Your Preservation Story to theNews Media Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr
    • Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr1. Know your story.Before pitching your story to a media outlet, make sure you’vedone all your research on the place or project you’re sharing.It’s vital that all facts be correct, and you know all aspects ofyour story.
    • 2. Know your media outlet.Be familiar with the focus of eachpublication you’re pitching to (and itsreporters’ beats), so you can gaugewhich story fits best with whichoutlet.For example, the MilwaukeeSentinel would be a good fit forpitching a preservation story ofinterest to the local audience inMilwaukee, while the HuffingtonPost may be interested in a story fora national audience. Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr
    • 3. Develop a media list.Once you’ve done your research, create a media contact list thatcaptures all your target reporters and outlets. For instance, if you’recovering an event to support an historic home in thecommunity, start your search with top publications in the area, andthen narrow it to reporters who cover preservation and/or localevents. Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr
    • 4. Identify yourself. When you first pitch a reporter, whether by phone or email, let them know who you are and what you’re doing with this preservation project. Make sure to get the point across in the first few sentences of the pitch.Photo courtesy Kadellar, Wiki Commons
    • 5. Test the pitch.Call a reporter whom you think willbe the most receptive and let themknow about the story you’re workingon. Have your questions planned inadvance and be prepared withanswers for any questions they mayhave. Their responses and feedbackwill help you refine the pitch for lateroutreach. Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr
    • Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr6. Stand out.Make your pitch interesting and eye-catching. You want it to stand outfrom dozens of other requests that reporters get every day. Sharewhat makes a site you’re writing about unique, or why a certainproject is attractive and valuable for the surrounding community.
    • 7. Keep email pitches brief.When emailing a reporter, keep the message short and to the point.You want to pique their interest but not overwhelm them with details.Recognize that reporters may only have a short amount of time tohear what you pitch and decide if they’d like to pursue the story, sothink “elevator speech,” not “doctoral dissertation.”
    • 8. Use social media.In today’s world, more and morereporters use social media as a wayof connecting.Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. areall superb ways to connect withreporters and establish friendlyrelationships. Photo courtesy Jonut, Wiki Commons
    • 9. Follow up.After pitching your story, follow up with the reporter to clarify anyquestions they may have regarding your story. That said, be surenot to contact them too frequently within a short period of time --you want to be respectful of their schedule and workload. Photo courtesy Preservation Nation, Flickr
    • Photo courtesy vistamommy, Wiki Commons10. Say thank you.Once your story is published, thank the reporter and let themknow where it will be shared within your network. This will helpfoster a good relationship with the reporter and mediaoutlet, and increase your chances for additional coverage later.
    • Ten on Tuesday features ten preservationtips each week. For more tips, visitblog.PreservationNation.org.