Creating a Feature Story Pitch

October 22, 2018

Writing a winning feature story pitch can be both one of the biggest challenges and most rewarding parts of the PR world. With the convenience of email, editors receive an endless number of pitches daily. So, how do you stand out from all the rest?

As PR professionals, we’re always asking ourselves – Is this story compelling enough? Will it relate to the journalist we’re pitching and the audience we’re targeting? It can take weeks to get a pitch finalized and even longer to garner interest from a reporter. But, if you do it right, you may see it through to a published piece.

Here are some helpful tips to create a successful feature story pitch:

  • Have an attention-grabbing subject line: This will be the first step to getting a reporter to open your email. Keep it short and unique. Keep in mind, many journalists will file story ideas and go back to them. It’s important to have something in the subject line that will make it easy for editors to find later on.
  • Keep it short and simple: Journalists do not have the time to read every bit of detail in each email they receive. Your pitch should state key facts and get to the news hook quickly.
  • Make it timely and relevant: See what’s buzzing in the news and on social media and find a way to jump into those conversations. This will help your pitch resonate with a reporter. For instance, if you’re pitching a cleaning product, tie in spring cleaning. 
  • Illustrate a trend: If your client has valuable data, use it. Interesting statistics can illustrate a trend that you can connect to your pitch. You can pull analyst or research data from third-parties, as well.
  • Do your homework: Know the media and your audience. Editors are more likely to respond if they know you put in the time to research their beat – whether that means reading their articles or following their social channels. Tailor your pitch to the specific person you’re pitching. Maybe reference an article they recently published that’s relevant to your news.
  • Have a compelling call-to-action: After offering your story idea, set a clear action step. Offer an interview opportunity, product review and/or sample, bylined article, etc. Give the media an incentive to actually do something with the information you just gave them.
Following these simple steps will help you create a persuasive media pitch and become a PR pro in no time.