Pitching Your Business to a Journalist? Here's What Works. Yes, a pitch can lead to a story -- you just need to know how to get our attention.
Entrepreneurs often ask me if publicists' pitches really lead to stories. Journalists don't like answering that. When we bite on a publicist's suggestion, we feel like we aren't doing our jobs -- that rather than hunting down a great yarn, we just ran with what fell in our laps. But the honest answer is: Yes, sometimes a pitch works. And I'll tell you the background from one such story in this issue, so you can see how it happens.
Related: 5 Tips on Pitching to the Media
It began on February 1, when a publicist named Leila Belcher emailed our senior editor, Alexandra Zissu. Subject line: "Hi Alexandra -- How Project 7 Gum Rose from the Ashes." (Side note: A marketer recently told me that he ran an experiment and found that customers opened his emails more often when he put their name in the subject. Did that make a difference here?) The pitch was one paragraph; it said that Project 7 founder Tyler Merrick had a "particularly interesting and inspiring story" of rebuilding his company after it went under.