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Pitching The Media? Then Read This!

By April 7, 2016February 1st, 2019No Comments
J. Kelly Hoey - Build Your Dream Network

On Tuesday morning, I was seated in front of 10 startup founders (participants in the Canadian Consulate’s Tech Accelerator program) leading them through a 3-hour “media” workshop. The session is a whole lot of media “how to” and common sense plus insider knowledge, personal experience and “how I’ve done it”. Leaving the session, I glanced at my email to discover 3 pitches from startup founders in my inbox. Yes, the one time I should have checked email during a presentation as I’d have in-the-moment examples of how to light a journalist / blogger / freelance columnist’s hair on fire — or make their day.

’Cause here’s the deal: on the pitch success scale of 1–10, two were zeros and one was an eleven.

Here are the fails:

  1. I really like your articles and since you wrote about female founders, I think you’ll be interested in this story idea! I’m a former X turned tech entrepreneur and I have an app. Interested in a story?
  2. An industry veteran and I teaming up to launch a new project. Worth covering?

The failing email senders were both sent this link. It’s a post of mine on “The Good, Ignored And Unprintable: A Guide For Entrepreneurs Pitching The Media” which lays out HOW to pitch a story to the media (print, radio, TV, digital). As I note in the post that you exist / launched / transitioned is not a story! Just because I wrote about a female founder last week is not a compelling pitch to result in a story this week.

What’s the story? Here’s my suggestion on getting your media pitch ready before you hit send on that email:

  1. Read “The Good, Ignored And Unprintable: A Guide For Entrepreneurs Pitching The Media”
  2. Read the previous stories the writer / blogger / journalist has written — then come up with a compelling fresh angle (rather than simply sending a “I’m doing that too” pitch).
  3. Draft a few pitches. Rip them up and draft again. Show them to a friend and ask what story pitch they’d read, share and recommend.

The pitch that was an eleven? It resulted in this post on

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey is a problem solver who believes that most professional challenges—whether funding, landing a board position or getting a new job—are solved by tapping into networks.Kelly is a popular speaker on networking, community building and investing issues, especially as they relate to women, and has worked with the IEEE, PGA, Bank of America, Apple and countless others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @jkhoey and on Instagram @jkellyhoey and join the #BYDN community at