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How to Pitch a Story to the News Media

By Jean Hanson
Posted Monday, October 25, 2004

We all have businesses that are newsworthy, right? Well try telling that to a busy newspaper editor! Here are some great tips for getting noticed:

1. Put it in writing. Generally speaking, a story pitch should be no more than one page. If they find it interesting, they’ll call you and ask for more detail.

2. Make it interesting. Say right at the beginning what is the most interesting or unique thing about your business or event.

3. Who does your business or event appeal to? Who is your target market? Is this appropriate for the particular publication you’re submitting to?

4. Is there a time element or deadline? Give them plenty of time – generally 6 to 8 weeks.

5. Include your contact information, phone number, email, fax, and when you’re available.

6. If it’s a smaller publication, include photos. Or, if you have an idea for a visual, include that too.

7. You can submit by either email or snail mail. I’ve sent story ideas to different newspapers via email and received responses to most.

8. Follow up with a phone call about one to two weeks later.

About the Author
Copyright © 2002, Jean Hanson, VA Office Solution, ( To subscribe to Jean's free newsletter, Office Solutions, visit her website.


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