You might have a great story, but if you don’t know how to present it, you’re not going to grab the media’s attention. Remember what seems like a great story for you might not seem that way to the media. Building a great pitch for a TV segment or magazine article takes some time, thought and creativity. Have fun with this process. Give it some time and you just might uncover some hidden gems that will launch your PR campaign.

Before you approach the media, study and review the press release or pitch you’re going to be using. Again, simply because it looks good to you doesn’t mean it will resonate with the media. Keep working on and refining your pitch with the focus on how it will meet the media’s needs.

1. Debunking a myth:

If there are certain preconceived ideas in your industry, or surrounding the topic you’ll be pitching, focus on those and pitch a story around how those myths or preconceived ideas are wrong. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, come up with some points that debunk some commonly held misconceptions about working out or losing weight. Present yourself as the expert who can set the record straight and educate the public.

2. Comment on a national issue:

If there is a story being covered in the media, or if there is a particular topic that is being discussed that you can comment on, do so. For example, if you are an attorney and there is a particular legal case that is in the news, or if there is an issue or topic that is being discussed that you can address, pitch yourself as an expert in the field who can clarify and explain the topic. Perhaps take a side and explain why the other side is wrong. Make sure to explain why you are the expert to address this topic.

3. Seasonal Stories

The media always covers season stories. It has to. Whether the story has to do with the Christmas holidays, or summer, these are stories that are covered every year. Find a way to pitch yourself or your product as a part of one of those stories. For example, if you own a beauty salon, or a cosmetic company, you can pitch a “new look for the new year” New Year's story.

4. Your journey.

Often the best and most compelling stories are those that tell the story of your journey. We’ve worked with a wide range of clients from filmmakers to physicians, and in almost every case the story of how the client developed his or her business, created the product, or started the service, served us well. The media and people in general gravitate towards human interest stories that show how someone overcame odds to achieve a dream.

Keep all of these approaches in mind when you’re putting together your list of stories to pitch to the media. Remember this is not a one-size-fits-all type of campaign. Shift your pitch to match the needs of the particular media you’re going to be contacting. Let the media know why your story works for them. Keep your pitch short and to the point. Present your story as a news segment, not as a pitch. These tips work, so be prepared.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011

Author's Bio: 

Anthony Mora Communications, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based public relations company that has placed clients in: Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, USA Today, Oprah, The New York Times, Vogue, and other media. Anthony has been featured in: USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets.