36 Reasons to Pitch A Story To The Media
Need story ideas to help you get free publicity for your business? I bet that you’ve got 5-10 of them sitting there in your business right now, just waiting for you to pitch them to a reporter.
Here are 36 reasons to pitch a story to the media. Some are obvious and traditional, others aren’t. But, hopefully, this list will spark some ideas in your mind to get you to pick up the phone and call a reporter today!
36 Reasons to Pitch a Story To The Media
1. New product
We normally think of new products as an opportunity for advertising, but every new product that’s newsworthy deserves a pitch! These can be some of the most interesting pitches, as you can build whole stories around the product’s usage in the lives of the reader.
2. New test results showing your superiority
Customers like to know who has the best quality. If you’ve got an unbiased test that proves it, this can make great news.
3. New hire
Is your new hire perfect PR material for your company? Let the media know. Plus, it introduces him/her to the media so that you can use them as part of your PR strategy in the future.
What company did you just buy/takeover? That’s always news worthy. Most of the time, it yields positive results for your company. It’s also important for you to explain any layoff that may occur so the media gets your stance too.
5. Record results
Record financial or sales results are always newsworthy, but especially if you obtain them in tough financial times. Perhaps a story on how you’re the one standout in your industry would not only get run, but could be a major feather in your cap.
6. Anticipated improved results
With the new emphasis on making future results visible to all shareholders, this is not only an opportunity, it’s an obligation.
7. New plant opening
Expansion into neighboring regions is always newsworthy, especially in a job market where every job is valuable. These sorts of stories always gather a big audience.
8. Expansion of current facilities
Like the previous entry, expansion is almost always welcome. It may only involve a few new workers, but in a world of bad news, even relatively small increases can get you ink.
9. New service offering
Sometimes, it take weeks, months, or even years before everyone knows that you offer a certain service. Get the word out.
10. New joint venture
Joint ventures aren’t completely understood by many people so it’s important to help people understand not only that you’ve entered one, but how it will work.
11. New line being carried
Build your clientele by making sure they know about your new stuff, especially if it will create new jobs – a favorite “good news” piece in the media.
12. 2nd shift being added or lots of overtime being worked
Typically, if a new shift is being added, that means business is good and the jobs are a welcome thing.
13. Improvement in manufacturing process
This goes along with your perceived image of quality. Show off your new process to give the viewers the info about your quality.
14. New client acquired
Did you just get a new account that means big business?
15. Licensed new technology
This is a good way to get the word out that you’re ahead of the rest.
16. Retirement of key employee
Do you have an employee who has been with you for years or has made a huge impact on the company, and now they are retiring? Create a personal story about their life and plans for the media.
17. Expansion into new market
Not only should you tell people where you’re expanding but why, and if you can paint a human-interest picture there too, you’ve got a powerful story (think of a toilet paper manufacturer expanding into China, complete with facts on the percentage of households currently using that product there…)
18. Major sale
Did you just make a sale that will be 40% of your next year’s income? There’s a story, not only of the sale being consummated, but how the selling process occurred.
19. Patent awarded
Patents are big business. They are intellectual property that only one entity can own at a time. This means that the media will definitely have a degree of interest.
20. Customer award earned
Modesty does NOT count in this category. When you win an award, flaunt it and the other awards you’ve earned in the past! These are most likely to get run if you can highlight the efforts of specific people within your company as the cause – that puts a human face on the business story.
21. Major contract fulfilled
You pitched the story when the contract started, now pitch another story as you close out the project, especially if you can show how many jobs and dollars it brought to your community, especially if you have new additional work for those people
22. Trade show attendance
These articles work best in the trade media, but these articles can be powerful booth drawing cards, especially if you’re doing something different at the show that would attract attention.
23. Free seminar offered
Free seminars are a powerful marketing tool, but can be an even more powerful PR tool if you provide the media valuable content (information that others make people pay to receive) as an article, with the free seminar mentioned at the end of the article. This has created many half and even full-page articles and 3-5 minute segments in TV news.
24. Your product helps a customer achieve something new they weren’t able to achieve previously
This can be a great win-win – both you and your customer get free publicity
25. Your product helps solve a crime
This just looks very cool. Plus, it shows that you are doing something positive for the community.
26. Your product helps increase customer’s profitability
This is good for word of mouth from customers. They like to increase profits. You like to help them do it. Have the media do a story about it.
27. One of your employees is elected to public office
There’s a great story here on the balance between work life and service, and value your company places on your community.
28. Website redesign offering new features
These will work if you’re offering real news – if it’s just a new look, it probably will be a waste of time.
29. Achievement of a shipping milestone, (i.e. 100,000th product shipped)
Don’t let this go uncelebrated. Not only can it get you good publicity, but can be a great morale booster – especially if you highlight the people on the production line – the little people who don’t get lots of attention.
30. Industry coming out of recession
If your industry is leading the way out of recession, pitch it. Not only is it good press for your industry, but it helps to create hope that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel!
31. Effect of proposed change on industry
Laws can make or break whole industries. The best time to capitalize on this is while the law is still being discussed or has just been passed, because then you not only have a news story, but you can also use it to gain attention at a time of information void (think of those who made luggage screening equipment just after 9/11)
32. Effect of tax change on industry
Again, the media is looking for ways to personalize outside events to their audience. If a proposed tax change will affect you one way or another, you’ve got a great hook.
33. Employees called up into military service
This is another opportunity to add a local, human face to an outside event, and is a great way for you to show you corporate support though holding positions open, partial pay, continued benefits for the family, etc.
34. Layoffs at competitor (openings at your company)
X-Company’s loss is your community’s gain!
35. Layoffs at your company
Hopefully, you don’t have to announce layoffs. But if you do, work through the media so that your side of the story is told.
36. Effect of new tax law on employees
Tax changes don’t just affect companies – show how the law change will affect your employees and invite the media to interview several for the story.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”