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Contact: CarlinMediaSolutions.com/hire-us Twitter: @RexCarlin (DM’s are open) Instagram: RexCarlin Knowing what you actually want to get out of a news story is perhaps the most important thing YOU need to know internally when you send a pitch out to news outlets. There’s a big difference between ​PREVIEWING​ an event and ​COVERING​ an event, both on your end and on the reporter’s end. Knowing those differences can be the difference between great success and a feeling of wasted opportunity. When to pitch a ​PREVIEW​ story: You should pitch a preview story to local news outlets when the culmination of interest in our entity is the event itself. Examples that come to mind are music festivals and concerts, a touring show coming to town, a time-restricted fundraiser, a rally or protest or a memorial service of some kind. The best possible scenario for a preview story is for more people to be made aware of the event by seeing the story. When to pitch a story ​COVERING​ an event: Any time you have something to offer after the event is finished, so you can use coverage of the event as a marketing tool for future business, traffic to your website, awareness for your cause or any other scenario where you have something to offer besides awareness of the event to somebody who sees the story. If your story idea falls under this category and you ask the news station to run a preview story instead of a coverage story, you are leaving money on the table because generally coverage stories can go into more detail about what actually happened at the event and why it’s important instead of, “Hey, there’s this event…” being the focus of the story. Neither type of story is inherently right or wrong. There’s a time and place for both of them, but not knowing what type of story you’re pitching to news outlets can ruin your chances of getting any type of coverage because when the person writing the story pitch doesn’t even know what she-or-he is asking for, the newsperson on the other end of the email is certainly going to be confused. This goes back to what I’ve written about in other pieces about properly structuring your pitches to fit what you’re looking to get out of the story. To put it into better perspective, let’s take a look at a couple examples below. Notice how the tone and context of these seemingly similar emails actually make these two story pitches much different: Preview Pitch: My name is _____ with ____, and I’d like to let you know about our upcoming event to raise awareness for Alzheimer's Disease at ____ next Saturday, the 22nd.


Two local neurologists will be on hand to present to the public and there will be a Q&A session after the presentations. We’ll also have representatives from several local senior living facilities and outpatient care centers on hand. We’d love to have you come out sometime in the next couple days to preview the event. Both neurologists are available for interviews, and we’d love to spread the public awareness of such an important event in the days leading up to it. Potential Story Angles: -What information should people know about Alzheimer’s Disease even before there are any problems so they can be proactive if and when concerns arise. -Are you aware of the early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease? - What can you do to help someone in your family suffering from the disease? Thanks so much! ---------------------------Covering Event: My name is _____ with ____, and I’d like to let you know about our upcoming event to raise awareness for Alzheimer's Disease at ____ next Saturday, the 22nd. We’ll have two local neurologists on-hand to present about the disease as part of our 10-part lecture series focused on various topics around elder care. We’d love to have you out to cover the event and spread awareness so the public can take advantage of learning from experts at these lectures. Potential Story Angles: -

Are you and your family informed about the various aspects of elder care? Two leading neurologists present on Alzheimer’s Disease at lecture series on elder health. What local resources are available for your elderly loved ones?

Thanks so much! ---------------------------See the difference between these two pitch emails? One is emphasizing that the story should be done BEFORE the event, while the other is emphasizing the story be done DURING the


event. As the person pitching the story, you have to be crystal clear about what you want, or you’re at the mercy of the news station. You’re really at the mercy of the news station either way, but if you’re clear in your email and you provide legitimate resources for the reporter to get a good story out of it, you’ll be in a much better position to actually get what you want. The worst case scenario, obviously, is that your pitch is so ambiguous and vague that the news outlet ignores it (and therefore your event) completely. By being clear about what you’re pitching, in a way you’re steering the news outlet in the direction you want without coming off as pushy or overbearing. Once the reporter comes to cover the story, you want to be almost invisible (unless she-or-he needs something) because you don’t want to come off as overbearing (it’ll be the last time you get a story picked up if you’re high maintenance), so the most control you have over the story will come from the original pitch. In summary, the first step is to understand what type of story works better for your purpose, then write your pitch emails to the news outlets to clearly explain what type of story you’re looking to run. As always, provide actual newsworthy story ideas in the pitches so it becomes even harder for news stations to reject the pitch. Remember, the less leg work the reporter actually has to do, the more likely the pitch is to become a news story. For more FREE content, head over to CarlinMediaSolutions.com. Once you’re there, check out Your News Pitch Bible, take a quiz to help you understand where your business or organization’s media relations focus should be, and for personalized help for your business organization, reach out through the website or contact me on one of these platforms: Twitter: @RexCarlin (DM’s are open) Instagram: RexCarlin Email: rex.carlin@outlook.com

Pitching a Preview Story vs. a Coverage Story to News Outlets  

There is a substantial difference between pitching a story previewing your upcoming event and pitching a story covering the event. Make sure...

Pitching a Preview Story vs. a Coverage Story to News Outlets  

There is a substantial difference between pitching a story previewing your upcoming event and pitching a story covering the event. Make sure...

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