What are the key ways to get your story covered?

  • Be sharp, be efficient, and be quick.
  • Your network makes the dream work.
  • “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”, – Ivana Trump.

Journalists are our valued partners in getting our stories out. Since newsrooms are generally overworked and under resourced, you want to be as well prepared as possible when pitching your story.

Here’s how you can come prepared when pitching to the press.

Ensure that your press releases are as sharp as can be. You get one chance to make the right impression, and while the rules of grammar do apply, you don’t want to mince your words. Write lean, clean copy, take the time to edit out repetitions and redundancies, keep it fresh and avoid clichés.

Aim to produce a story, not just a press release. Journalists are busy, so write your press releases in a way that’s easiest to run with, and include captioned images.

Once your piece it written, edited, and ready to go, send a personalised email to the journalist you’re pitching to, including why you think they’ll be interested in the story. Don’t attach a PDF or word document containing your press release, you’ll have a better read rate if you just place it in the body text of your email. Start by greeting and get straight into your one line pitch, following which you feature your press release. Remember to start by mentioning if they’ve covered the topic before, or get straight into why it’s newsworthy.

Start with your own network of journalists. Pitching your piece to people with whom you have rapport is the smartest way to work. It will increase the likelihood of getting coverage since these journalists are more likely to trust you since credibility is likely to have already been established.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask. Just make sure you put your best foot forward when pitching. Get the key facts about your story in front of you, and lead with the most newsworthy part of the story.
If you’re sure you’ve done your research, your facts are checked and you’re confident about your angle, then you have every right to ask for a journalist or editor to run with the piece. Remember: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

If you want to learn more, send an inquiry to media@abpr.co.za or by completing the contact form on this website.

Happy PR


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