Business strategyMedia

Pitching The Media? Then Read This!

By April 7, 2016 February 1st, 2019 No Comments

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 Inc.com “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 Inc.com.

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey

Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.