The Great Eight: Inspirations for Your Next Pitch Angle
By Brittany Bevacqua | On April 30, 2014
As PR pros, we’re constantly faced with the challenge of coming up with creative pitch angles that will catch the media’s attention. Sometimes the hook is obvious, but often, headline-grabbing pitches require much more careful consideration and research to truly stick. Here are eight places you can look to make your next pitch timely, newsworthy, and even award-winning.
- National News: If morning shows or national newspapers cover a story, chances are extremely high that print/online magazines, trade publications and blogs will follow suit. The same goes for any entertainment show or news magazine. Like it or not, celebrities rule the headlines, and your clients can too if you pitch tactfully, tastefully (and quickly) based on what’s top-of-mind for mainstream media.
- Local News: While national news is king, don’t forget about stories making headlines locally. Is your client’s home city becoming an incubator for a particular type of business? Can your client comment on changes to the local economic or political landscape? Even the weather and its impact on business can be a timely story. Getting visibility for your clients on a local-level can also help build credibility needed for the national stage.
- Calendar: Sure, the holiday season gives us Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Hanukkah and Christmas, but don’t forget about the other 10.5 months out of the year. Official and unofficial holidays can almost always give you a timely news hook for your pitches. In addition, consider big anniversary dates or historic milestones (i.e. Apple iPhone turns 7), as well as nationally recognized weeks or months, to breathe new life into a story idea. Search for them via Chase’s Calendar of Events.
- Events: If you don’t have a list of events that your client is sponsoring/attending/hosting, ask now. In addition to potential 1:1 on-site interviews, insight on what’s happening in sessions are often more interesting to media. Beyond that, consider events that are getting attention on a national-scale: Apple WWDC, Coachella, the Super Bowl, and more. Would your client’s expertise be valid here?
- Reports: Hands down, relevant data makes pitch angles stronger and more credible for the media. In the tech space, many of our clients have access to data that we can use to point to trends, challenges and other factors in a particular market. If your client doesn’t have these capabilities, analyst groups, universities and national associations frequently release studies and/or survey findings that can add some major credibility to your story angle.
- Competitors: Looking at what others are doing in your client’s space can be an opportunity to distinguish its products or services from competitors as well as help to identify bigger industry trends. Keep tabs on competitor product or service updates/launches, reviews and general news from the company. Reporters value insight into what’s happening in a market as a whole (versus just in your client’s own organization).
- Tech Giants: Thanks to Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, technology has gone mainstream. People are paying attention, and they’re grabbing headlines because of it. Staying on top of major company/product news, executive remarks during earnings calls or industry events, as well as any big acquisitions or IPOs, can help spark creative ideas that may turn into your next great lead story.
- Social/Multimedia: There’s no arguing that social and multimedia platforms have transformed the way news is reported, and the way that regular people become overnight superstars. Follow what’s trending on popular social media sites and websites like BuzzFeed. For less splashy news, use client- and independently-produced multimedia assets like infographics, whitepapers, podcasts and videos to uncover new angles with longer shelf lives.
These are just a few of the places to look if you need a little creativity for your next pitch. With that, I’d love to hear from our readers: where else have you found inspiration for a challenging story angle?