Do you get a big fat no from a journalist when you pitch them a story? If so, don’t take it personally.
There are loads of reasons why a journalist might not be interested – and many of them aren’t a “hard no”, because it’s just a bad story, as one of the trainees on the pitching course I recently ran at the Henshall Centre, said.
They are a “soft no”, which means it may be worth trying again at a different time.
Here are some “soft no” reasons:
- They have covered the same topic very recently
- There is a major story which is dominating the news
- It has no peg/hook or the timing is wrong
- They are too busy to talk to you
- You’ve missed their deadline
- The story as you described it is too complicated
- This edition of publication is full
- It is not their area of expertise
- You haven’t given them a good “top-line”
- The angle doesn’t work for them
- The press release isn’t well written
And here are some “hard no” reasons:
- It’s boring
- It’s the wrong story for their publication
- It’s very obviously a puff piece
- The journalist is a cynical hack
- The journalist knows they’ll never be able to sell the story to their news editor who is a cynical hack
- If you’re pitching for TV, there’s nothing to see – no pictures
Obviously if the rejections are down to “hard nos”, then you need to rethink your strategy, try a different publication and advise your clients that it’s not going run.
To find out more about pitching, give us a call, and we can let you know when our next course at the Henshall Centre is taking place.