Top tips from Guardian Masterclass: What journalists want

I recently attended a Guardian Masterclass called: “What journalists want: A masterclass for PRs and marketers” hosted by the charismatic Lauren Razavi. If I didn’t know how to pitch to a journalist by now I should probably switch careers but for me this was more about a personal refresh, an opportunity to make connections and to keep abreast of the changes in the media landscape. It was a helpful reminder on various points and below are my Top 5 take outs from the afternoon:

 

  1. Pitching a feature / trend

If you are pitching a feature or trend make sure you are providing at least three examples. Just using your own business isn’t enough. Check the big four: Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG are well respected for reports and research. Consider using some stats from their recent research to provide a topical newshook.

 

  1. Strong story v’s well written

A great idea is always better than how well it is written. A weak story cannot be made into a good story, but a bit of bad punctuation won’t ruin a compelling story. So make sure you start with a strong idea.

 

  1. The importance of branded content

There are more opportunities that ever before to be featured by brands own publications. Encourage your clients (or yourselves) to engage with this new media wave. E.g. the high readership of Natwest Content Live is just as important for you to be as national online business section.

 

  1. Human interest

Try to create ideas that resonate on a human level, who are the characters of your story and do they fit a particular profile. If you have statistics and research can you provide a case study that provides an emotive connection?

 

  1. Thought leadership

Everyone wants to be a thought leader but what are you saying that is different from anyone else? Try to think of your own unique expertise that no other company has.

 

Lauren gave so much more than just these nuggets but these were my favourites from the day that got my brain going into overdrive about how I can pitch my own clients. If you are a complete beginner learning to pitch to a journalist this course is excellent and I would definitely recommend. Now, I’m off to go and research some trend reports from the big four…

 

Course information can be found here: https://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/2016/dec/08/what-journalists-want-a-masterclass-for-prs-and-marketers