In honor of Pitch Perfect 2, which opens this weekend, I am slipping into my media member persona to list what makes a perfect pitch. Here we go…
- Give me something that my viewers/readers/listeners will find compelling. Something new, exciting, happy, sad, timely, nostalgic, fun, heartwarming, heartbreaking, funny.
- Give me a fresh, different angle on something my audience and I are already familiar with.
- Give me something that’s easy for viewers/readers/listeners to grasp without huge amounts of explanation and background.
- Give me the basic info in a paragraph or two or in a few bullet points. (If leaving a voicemail, pitch it in 30 seconds or less.)
- If it’s not apparent, tell me why your pitch would be meaningful to my media constituency.
- If pitching an interview, give me a person who knows how to answer a question. (Seems obvious, but some people spend two minutes on a yes or no question.)
- If pitching an interview, be sure the person you’re pitching is available.
- Give me something my boss will be okay with. I may not have to get approval on everything I cover, but I don’t want to hear, “Why’d you do that piece? That was the dumbest, most boring thing I’ve ever heard/seen/read!”
- Give me something I can promote.
- Give me something that will generate website and social media response.
I’ve scratched my head at some of the goofy, far-fetched pitches I’ve received over the years. I’ve also received many well-conceived, thoughtful items that were just right—pitched perfectly—for my radio shows, websites and social media channels.
An ability to empathize with your media contacts—to consider their needs and wants—can help you craft the perfect pitch.
By the way, the new movie Pitch Perfect 2 is funny and the music is tremendous!