How to Create Content Journalists Want to Cover

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Are you pitching reporters but not receiving responses? That’s because you’re not giving them what they want.

When reporters go through their daily pile of pitches, they look for fresh angles that will engage and inform their readers, not reiterations of an already discussed topic or drawn-out explanations.

Stand out from the crowd and give reporters what they’re looking for with these four tactics:

1. Uncover Lesser-Known Topics


How are you using your social media listening tool? Go beyond identifying trending topics and breaking news.

Research keywords, topics and events to see what has already been covered in the news to find topics that may need more attention. Once you’ve found a hole, determine how you’ll approach the reporter with your suggestion.

If your brand has thought leaders on the topic, sit down with them to create compelling content or multimedia to go alongside your pitch. If not, try to make their lives easier by suggesting where they may want to look for more information on the topic.

2. Visualize Stories

As mobile devices decrease in screen size and smartphone usage continues to rise, media outlets have had to change the way they tell and distribute their stories.

Nearly half of the reporters surveyed in Cision’s State of the Media 2016 Report stated they used video- and image-based content in their stories. Yet, editors at major outlets like The Washington Post receive very few charts, visualizations or data.

Help reporters reach these on-the-go content consumers by pitching videos, infographics or other mobile-friendly multimedia.  When pitching your visual content, always include bite-sized story descriptions that could be pieced together to make one larger story.

3. Deliver Data


If you have the time and resources to invest in gathering and examining data, use it to your pitching advantage.

Look at the challenges your brand helps its customers overcome or topics that resound most with your audiences to determine what to research.

Revisit your data over time to make year-over-year comparisons and identify industry trends. Then, think of an interesting way to present the statistics and insights.

4. Survey The People

For stories to succeed, they must relate in some way to the people reading them. Think of topics that interest your audience and send out opinion polls or surveys for a better understanding of what they think.

As an industry leader, your brand may want to turn your surveys or opinion polls into annual reports like Cision does with its State of the Media report. While you may only get a mention out of your first report that doesn’t mean you should stop.

With each mention comes more awareness. Over time, reporters will look forward to receiving and referencing your report, while readers will look forward to what’s new.

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Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3


About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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