0
Tom Banse
Thanks for joining us. We will begin a few minutes
past the hour to allow everyone time to settle in.
Sian Wu
St...
About Resource Media
•  Communications Strategy
•  Execution and Outreach
•  Digital and Social Media
•  Environmental and...
Staff
30
9 Offices
San Francisco Seattle Boulder Kalispell Sacramento
Bozeman Portland Salt Lake City Anchorage
Have a question? Need help?
1. Research your pitch
2. Practice your pitch
3. Practice good reporter etiquette
4. Understand your audience: the media
5...
Tuning up:
research your pitch
1
First ask:
• How will media achieve my
end goal?
• No media is a strategy
Think strategy
•  Aggressive?
•  Informative?
•  Buzz-building?
•  Base-activating?
What kind of story do you want?
•  Has this been covered before?
•  Who’s been quoted on this?
•  How is the issue currently framed?
•  What types of outl...
Know their beats
Make a note of:
•  What they’re interested in
•  The stories/blogs they’ve written
•  Who doesn’t want to be called
•  Who...
Practice good
reporter etiquette
2
Be mindful of their lives:
•  Pitched by hundreds of people
•  Working on daily deadlines
•  Need to answer to their edito...
•  “Just calling to follow up.”
•  “Wanted to make sure you
got it.”
Irksome words
Sometimes I just
popup for no particula...
Build relationships
Support their work by:
• Spreading good reporting to your
networks
• Posting stories to your blog and
...
Find them on Twitter
Media on Twitter:
• http://mediaontwitter.com
Muckrack:
• http://muckrack.com
Journalist Tweets:
• ht...
Grace under fire
•  What are their pitch
preferences?
•  What are they
interested in?
•  Where can you read
more or connect?
Listen
Know when to let go
Understanding your
audience: the media
3
Stay in tune with a reporter’s needs
•  Access to spokespeople
•  Quality images, logos and
video
•  Embargo lift date and...
TV needs
•  It’s all about the visual
•  Don’t make them go the distance
•  “If it bleeds it leads”
•  Keep in mind compet...
Stay in tune with a reporter’s wants
•  Peculiarity
•  Proximity
•  Prominence
•  Promptness
•  Peer review
•  Blatant self promotion
•  Internal news
•  Opinion—ax to grind
•  Pitch robots
What strikes a bad chord?
Mending fences
•  Recognize ideologically hostile
press
•  Show them you’re a real person
•  Change up your spokespeople
•...
Make it memorable:
hooks and angles
4
Develop your news hook
What’s:
• New
• Interesting
• Surprising
• Timely
• Relevant or
• Localize a national story
What are the impacts that haven’t
been covered yet?
•  Economic
•  Political
•  Environmental
•  Social
•  Health
Identify...
•  Always call with breaking
news
•  Be mindful of deadlines
•  Give advance notice for
events or feature story ideas
•  S...
It’s not all about you
Let the news lead with your organization as a
supporting character in the story
Warming up:
practice your pitch
5
Practice your pitch
•  Role play with a coworker
•  Think of tough reporter questions
•  For email pitches:
•  Lead with t...
•  Know the main messages
•  Line up facts and figures
•  But don’t read from a script
Be prepared
Know your land mines
What topics are no-go
zones?
Who can speak to that?
Don’t say anything you
wouldn’t want to see in
th...
•  Consider how media will help
you achieve your goal
•  Know your reporters really well
by being a news junkie
•  Underst...
Special guest: Tom Banse
Tom Banse
Northwest
Regional
Correspondent
NPR News
Sian Wu
Program Director
Seattle Office
sian@resource-media.org
206.374.7795 x102
@ThatsSoEco
Tom Banse
Northwest Regional
...
1.  Would you recommend this webinar to a friend?
2.  How would you rate this webinar on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1
as not...
Explore More RM Trainings
• Blogger Relations – December
• Coming up in 2011:
•  Communicating science TBD
•  Branding TBD...
In the
Beginning
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Story Pitching: Get in Tune with Reporters' Needs

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Transcript of "Story Pitching: Get in Tune with Reporters' Needs"

  1. 1. Tom Banse Thanks for joining us. We will begin a few minutes past the hour to allow everyone time to settle in. Sian Wu Story Pitching: How to Get in Tune with Reporters’ Needs November 2010
  2. 2. About Resource Media •  Communications Strategy •  Execution and Outreach •  Digital and Social Media •  Environmental and Health Focus
  3. 3. Staff 30 9 Offices San Francisco Seattle Boulder Kalispell Sacramento Bozeman Portland Salt Lake City Anchorage
  4. 4. Have a question? Need help?
  5. 5. 1. Research your pitch 2. Practice your pitch 3. Practice good reporter etiquette 4. Understand your audience: the media 5. Make it memorable: hooks and angles 6. Special Guest: NPR Reporter Tom Banse What we’ll cover today
  6. 6. Tuning up: research your pitch 1
  7. 7. First ask: • How will media achieve my end goal? • No media is a strategy Think strategy
  8. 8. •  Aggressive? •  Informative? •  Buzz-building? •  Base-activating? What kind of story do you want?
  9. 9. •  Has this been covered before? •  Who’s been quoted on this? •  How is the issue currently framed? •  What types of outlets would be most influential? •  Who writes on this? •  Do we want to go national or local first? Do a sound check
  10. 10. Know their beats
  11. 11. Make a note of: •  What they’re interested in •  The stories/blogs they’ve written •  Who doesn’t want to be called •  Who is on social media •  Their status after your pitch Keep tabs on them
  12. 12. Practice good reporter etiquette 2
  13. 13. Be mindful of their lives: •  Pitched by hundreds of people •  Working on daily deadlines •  Need to answer to their editors •  Need a good visual (especially true for TV)
  14. 14. •  “Just calling to follow up.” •  “Wanted to make sure you got it.” Irksome words Sometimes I just popup for no particular reason, like now.
  15. 15. Build relationships Support their work by: • Spreading good reporting to your networks • Posting stories to your blog and newsletter • Following reporters on Twitter and retweeting their content • Commenting on stories online
  16. 16. Find them on Twitter Media on Twitter: • http://mediaontwitter.com Muckrack: • http://muckrack.com Journalist Tweets: • http://journalisttweets.com/ search
  17. 17. Grace under fire
  18. 18. •  What are their pitch preferences? •  What are they interested in? •  Where can you read more or connect? Listen
  19. 19. Know when to let go
  20. 20. Understanding your audience: the media 3
  21. 21. Stay in tune with a reporter’s needs •  Access to spokespeople •  Quality images, logos and video •  Embargo lift date and time •  Transparency •  Timeline of important decisions •  Access to primary documents
  22. 22. TV needs •  It’s all about the visual •  Don’t make them go the distance •  “If it bleeds it leads” •  Keep in mind competition and sweeps weeks •  Demonstrations and personality
  23. 23. Stay in tune with a reporter’s wants •  Peculiarity •  Proximity •  Prominence •  Promptness •  Peer review
  24. 24. •  Blatant self promotion •  Internal news •  Opinion—ax to grind •  Pitch robots What strikes a bad chord?
  25. 25. Mending fences •  Recognize ideologically hostile press •  Show them you’re a real person •  Change up your spokespeople •  Hit other outlets
  26. 26. Make it memorable: hooks and angles 4
  27. 27. Develop your news hook What’s: • New • Interesting • Surprising • Timely • Relevant or • Localize a national story
  28. 28. What are the impacts that haven’t been covered yet? •  Economic •  Political •  Environmental •  Social •  Health Identify the problem, substitute a better question and reframe positively Find the right angle
  29. 29. •  Always call with breaking news •  Be mindful of deadlines •  Give advance notice for events or feature story ideas •  Suggest a meeting or field trip •  Try, try again The conflict angle •  Media loves it •  How to avoid it •  When to play it up
  30. 30. It’s not all about you Let the news lead with your organization as a supporting character in the story
  31. 31. Warming up: practice your pitch 5
  32. 32. Practice your pitch •  Role play with a coworker •  Think of tough reporter questions •  For email pitches: •  Lead with the big news •  Keep it short •  Use AP style and proofread •  Stay jargon-free
  33. 33. •  Know the main messages •  Line up facts and figures •  But don’t read from a script Be prepared
  34. 34. Know your land mines What topics are no-go zones? Who can speak to that? Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to see in the story: •  On the record •  Off the record •  On background
  35. 35. •  Consider how media will help you achieve your goal •  Know your reporters really well by being a news junkie •  Understand reporter deadlines and inboxes •  All good stories need a good hook •  News stories aren’t all about you Reminders:
  36. 36. Special guest: Tom Banse Tom Banse Northwest Regional Correspondent NPR News
  37. 37. Sian Wu Program Director Seattle Office sian@resource-media.org 206.374.7795 x102 @ThatsSoEco Tom Banse Northwest Regional Correspondent NPR News We welcome your questions!
  38. 38. 1.  Would you recommend this webinar to a friend? 2.  How would you rate this webinar on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 as not helpful and 10 as very helpful for my work? 3.  Suggestions for future webinar topics? 4.  Other comments? Feedback?
  39. 39. Explore More RM Trainings • Blogger Relations – December • Coming up in 2011: •  Communicating science TBD •  Branding TBD •  Interviewing and public speaking TBD •  LinkedIn for nonprofits TBD
  40. 40. In the Beginning
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