There are times in life when you are hit by a blast of inspiration, a brilliant idea which deserves to be brought to fruition. The challenge of realising that dream is different in many fields, a picture needs to be painted, an invention needs to be built etc. In the world of journalism, the main hurdle is pitching your piece to an editor. Here at Media HQ, we interact with journalists on a daily basis, and we’re aware of the struggles that many freelance writers face.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of our top five tips for pitching to magazines.
Readers are never objective. Whoever reads your article, be it the editor or the fans of the magazine, will look upon it more favourably if they think you are credible. If you have yet to meet the editor, list your credentials and experience relevant to the article in your initial email. This will entice them into perceiving your piece as a serious prospect for a feature, heavily increasing your chances of making the news.
Make them want to publish it ASAP
Magazine editors want each issue of their magazine to be as current as possible. You should capitalise on this, even if your article isn’t directly concerned with current events, by linking it to them. For example, if you were writing an article about food in the summer of 2018, it could be made more relevant by titling it “Top 10 World Cup Snacks”. Not only will this make the editor want to publish your article, but it will also broaden the range of your article, as it now covers sport, food and current events.
Brevity is key
For every pitch that gets published, there are dozens that get rejected. An editor’s time is limited and you have a very short window to get their attention. The best types of pitches are those which display the headline, and then a 50-75 word description of what the piece will contain. Anything longer might dissuade the editor from reading your description in the first place. Less is more.
Sometimes, an editor may be so pushed for time that they may scroll through their emails, only clicking on pitches that seem particularly interesting. Titles such as “Article Pitch” will be instant casualties in this situation. An ideal tagline will clearly display the theme of the article, as well as your unique take on the topic.
At the end of the day, it is that unique take which is your selling point. If the new season of Game of Thrones comes out and you want to pitch an article about it to Rolling Stone, you can be guaranteed that 10 other people will too. In your pitch you need to make clear why your stance is different, and why you should be published instead of any other contributor.
To quote our sister PR company All Good Tales, you need to find your “magic slice”.
At MediaHQ, we pride ourselves with pitching. We know how essential it is to get our clients as much coverage as possible. We make sure that our clients’ pitches are reaching the right media organisations for the relevant audiences. Curious? Why not give Gaye a call at 01 254 1845 or click here.