In these difficult times it is not always possible to hire a PR
agency to pitch a story for you. But you can quite effectively
pitch it to the media yourself, if you follow a few basic
Journalists are often under pressure of time and the last thing
they want is vague waffle. So follow the BRAVO Principle.
B is for Brief. Get straight
to the point and in a few short sentences sum up the main thrust of
your story. When writing or calling, have a crib sheet with three
bullets, and keep to it.
R is for Relevance. It is
pointless to pitch a business article about a highly technical IT
gizmo to the features editor of a lifestyle page that focuses on
food and fashion. Most national papers have technical editors, as
do their websites. Find out their name and email address, and send
a few bullets to test the water.
A is for Arresting. This story
must hit the journalist between the eyes and be totally
irresistible. It must be timely and about to happen, as time is
always of the essence in papers, websites, radio programmes and
V is for Visuals. Get strong
photos to accompany the piece. A lack of good visuals can seriously
reduce your chance of success.
O is for Original. Your story
must be either totally new or a new angle on an existing story. No
self-respecting media outlet will want to peddle used goods.
O can also stand for Only for
you. An exclusive is always more attractive to a
correspondent and will help build a relationship, so you can send
them more stories in time.
If you speak to a journalist, it is far better to undersell.
Nothing is more galling than someone gushing: "I've got
this fantastic story about a unique new product, which you'll
really love!" Journalists hate hype, and it is totally self
defeating as it will only raise their hackles and encourage them to
"kebab" you – in other words, spike your
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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