How to Find the Right Journalist for Your Story

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Do you have BIG news about your business but aren’t sure how to go about contacting the right person to help tell your story? These six tips will help you find the right journalist to help spread the news.

Familiarize Yourself with Local Media

Research all digital, print and television media outlets in your area. Know what content they typically produce and the tone of their writing. It would also be helpful to know if the outlet issues a daily newsletter in addition to their online stories.

Consider Your Audience

Think about which outlets and programs your target audience may read or watch. For example, if a national barbershop chain is looking to receive press online or in print about a new hair service, ideal outlets to pitch would include Men’s Journal or Men’s Health, as the readership for those publications would likely be men in their mid-20s to 50s. In this instance, it wouldn’t make sense to reach out to Cosmopolitan as their readership is typically young, millennial, women that obviously wouldn’t receive haircuts from a barbershop.

Research

Once you determine which outlet would be the best fit for your story, research the writers who work at the publication. What do they typically write about and how often do they write? Today, fewer and fewer journalists are full-time at publications and instead may freelance for multiple outlets. That’s okay! If you do your research and read the articles that this journalist has already written, you’ll know if your story would be something they would even consider for that particular outlet.

For example, if you own a popular coffee shop and will soon be making an announcement about the opening of a new location, you likely wouldn’t contact a health and wellness writer for a lifestyle magazine. For this example, we would recommend reaching out to a reporter that writes about new business and real estate at your local business journal.

Find Contact Information

When you find the perfect journalist to pitch your story, you’ll also need to find their contact information. If you do not have access to PR software such as Meltwater or Cision, you may need to do a little digging. If you’re lucky, you may find their information directly on the outlet’s website. Their email will likely be listed under their bio.

If you’re still having trouble, check out their social media handles. Many journalists place contact information in their Twitter bio or link to their online portfolio. No luck there? Check out their LinkedIn profile. If there is still no trace of a reporter’s email, try using hunter.io. By using Hunter, you’ll be able to find the best bet of a journalist’s email address.

Tailor Your Pitch

After finding the journalist’s contact information, it’s time to send your pitch. But first, you’ll want to personalize your email to the journalist. See below for an example:

“Hi, Sarah,

I hope you’re doing well. I recently read your article about the Pet Adoption happening this Saturday at the Humane Society and am convinced I need to add another dog to my family!”

Include the journalists’ name and a sentence about an article that they have written that you enjoyed. This will show that you care about the journalist’s work and keep tabs about what they’re writing and are aware that the pitch you’re sending to them is relevant to their beat. Adding a personal touch can also help you stand out among the hundreds of emails journalists receive daily. If you’re contacting a freelance writer, be sure to include which publication for which you would like them to consider your story. See an example below:

“Would this story be a fit for a future article in PureWow?”

Follow Up

Follow up is key when it comes to securing a pitch. We suggest following up 24-48 hours after the initial pitch. Sometimes a follow up is what it takes to receive an answer. If you receive a no, be sure to have a Plan B. If you receive a yes, Congrats! You’ve secured coverage for your story!


Don’t want to handle pitching journalists on your own? Contact the Social Ape team HERE to learn more about our Public Relations services.