The first rule we should consider before we pitch for an interview is to never tell the Editor that another magazine or journalist beat him to the punch on your story. This can prove to be more of a turn-off to a writer and will make them believe that they deserved to be contacted first for the interview.
It is always a good idea to give the journalist plenty of lead time, especially if there is a significant or breaking story – in this circumstance the Editor will clear the decks and make time for your announcement. Waiting until the last minute doesn’t work for most journalists and a fair solution could be conducting the interviews and keeping them aside, or providing a news embargo for a preferred date of publication.
Shotgun approaches don’t work much with Editors these days so it’s always advisable not to pitch the same interviews to several journalists – once they know that the story has been published by another publication this will lead to them ignoring the article. Furthermore, it will also make them feel that they weren’t the priority to receive the story.
Every pitch should be personalised, therefore a target media list should be placed in order with only suitable publications targeted. Here, the specialties of each particular writer should be taken into consideration alongside the company’s association with them. Following this, you should focus on journalists from publications who you have a good working relationship with, which are suitable for the article.
Finally, on no account should an Editor’s public Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts ever be used to pitch a story. It is more appropriate to send a private message to an Editor’s direct email or even just call them.
It is necessary to know how to thoughtfully pitch for an interview for the sake of pleasing your client, to continue maintenance of strong relationships with Editors and most importantly for the sake of keeping professional.