July 29, 2016 / by Laura Botham

Cision’s Media Research team works daily to maintain a database of more than 1.6 million journalists and media professionals. In addition to accurate contact information, we strive to obtain pitching tips to help ensure the most useful pitches reach the most interested journalists. You wouldn’t jump from a plane without a parachute, so why would you pitch without pitching tips? Here is some advice to successfully pitch journalists at news-explaining site Vox, based off tips we’ve collected from them.

Seeing is Believing

Vox explains the news rather than report it, so they look for opportunities to explain complicated stuff. Pitches that contain data sets and data visualization that aid in analysis and comprehension of complicated ideas are what these writers are interested in. Seeing is believing, and key to learning so have a visual angle for any idea you pitch, but it should be more than just a photo.

Be Interesting, and Have Substance

If you are looking to push out clickbait, this will not be a successful relationship for you. Access to interesting things and people will get you further than story ideas, especially things like interviews, behind-the-scenes stuff, and access to studies, films, and documentaries before they are released. Don’t be afraid to offer opportunities for hard news and opinion, or the inside scoop on products, just be sure that there is an interesting story behind it.

Attention to Detail

Pay attention to who is covering what beat. If the connection is a bit of a stretch, get specific about how it applies to the writer’s beat but don’t pitch unrelated material. Be detailed, but not spammy, and offer any experts that can speak for the story up front. By having a thorough and organized pitch you are getting your full story out there.

Less Really Can Be More

Target your pitches to avoid a high volume of email. Journalists get pitches all the time, but one of the things that can really set you apart is not over-doing it. Don’t follow up to ask if they saw your email, this just adds to the noise. By limiting your contact to when you have a really good pitch tailored to topical coverage, you’ll stand out by being the person that only sends relevant, good content and will be successful in building a relationship.

Tailor to the World Wide Web

Vox is an online-only publication, and this can offer opportunities that you don’t have when pitching print publications. Take advantage of pitching that weird study, or off-beat interview, as there isn’t the pressure of how it will look on the weekend cover. Internet news also provides for multi-media visualizations, and the opportunity to get interactive.

Speaking of the Internet – Email is Always Best

Almost any online journalist will prefer to be pitched online, so stick to emails. Some are OK with reaching out via social media, but if you don’t get a response, respect that they probably aren’t interested. If a phone conversation is necessary, it can be set up but it is best to not make any unsolicited calls. Ask to be notified when the story goes live, but multiple follow-ups asking when the story will publish are a good way to ruin what could be a good relationship.

The Cision Media Research Team maintains a database of more than 1.6 million records, including social influencers, traditional media contacts, outlets and opportunities. We collect and maintain the latest contact and pitching information of bloggers and journalists who can spread your message, broaden your campaign and help you build relationships with the people who matter.  To experience the Cision Media Database first hand, request a demo here

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

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About Laura Botham

Laura Botham writes features covering the movers and shakers in the media industry, daily updates, and Top 10 lists. She is a media researcher at Cision, specializing in Internet media. She is a freelance artist, enjoys traveling, the mountains, and can always make time for a cute animal video.