What Top-Tier Reporters Want to See in a Pitch 

PR pros – and their clients — often dream of securing coverage in top-tier outlets, but the path there isn’t always clear. 

Reaching the upper echelon of reporters doesn’t have to feel like a guessing game. Certainly, a little bit of luck can go a long way, but there’s concrete steps you can take to improve your chances of landing in a premier publication. 

What are they, exactly? Read on to learn five techniques that will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Tell a (timely) story 

At the end of the day, journalists are storytellers — and PR pros should be, too. With this in mind, how can you transform a plain pitch into a captivating story? 

To craft a compelling narrative, capitalize on the elements that make your angle unique or newsworthy. In doing so, find creative ways to evoke emotion — a storytelling tactic as old as time. Don’t overdo it, though; make sure your messaging still feels authentic and consistent for your brand. 

Timing is everything in our industry, so your story also needs to feel fresh. The more you can connect your story to the current climate, the more likely it is to be picked up by a prominent publication. 

Leverage data 

In addition to gripping, timely stories, the best reporters also have a penchant for data that can serve as objective proofpoints for their narrative. Rather than peppering your pitch with buzzwords and cliches to fill space, leverage relevant stats to support the story. 

Of course, data is just data until you make it meaningful. Don’t just simply slap numbers on a page and call it a day; you need to seamlessly weave those numbers into your pitch to paint a more vivid picture. The ability to turn numbers into stories is one that every comms pro should have in their toolkit, and it’s going to become increasingly important in the age of the communications engineer. 

Offer exclusives 

“Exclusive access” is a euphoric phrase for top-tier reporters. Whether offering exclusive interviews or behind-the-scenes insights, your chances of sparking interest will skyrocket when you bring something unique and shiny to the table. 

Exclusive access needs to be strategic; it shouldn’t be doled out randomly. Make sure the spokespeople you pitch for exclusive interviews are the right fit for the topic and platform, and don’t forget to apply the same approach to any coveted intel you offer up. 

Understand the audience 

Journalists understand their audience better than anyone. If your pitch isn’t in line with the specific interests of that audience — especially for niche audiences — rejection is imminent.  

So, put in the legwork before you send a pitch. Read as many stories as you can from the reporter to identify any common threads to capitalize on, such as the types of trends they tend to cover, the types of experts they talk to and even the tone and style of their writing. These considerations can serve as a checklist to keep you from spinning your wheels on the wrong track. 

Make it personal 

Relationship-building has been a central component of the PR industry since its inception, but as our channels of communication have evolved in recent years, it’s become something of a lost art. 

For starters, reference the reporter’s recent work and give specific compliments or callouts, making the effort to give them genuine feedback. Look at their bio and see if you have any shared interests or backgrounds you can splice into your conversations, helping to strengthen the relationship. Above all else, remember that the reporter is another human being — not some sort of publicity robot to do your bidding. Always be personable and professional. 

Entrust comms tech 

In our ever-changing industry, cutting edge tech can set you up for success. Relying on clunky tools and antiquated methods will only get you so far — especially when vying for the attention of top-tier reporters. 

Luckily, tools like PRophet are bridging the gaps. As the PR industry’s only generative and predictive AI-driven platform, PRophet helps modern PR professionals become more performative, predictive and productive.  

PRophet predicts which journalists will be most interested in your pitch, and in tandem with our generative AI tool, Taylor, it can punch up your pitch to be more captivating and personal. Our platform is sleek, easy-to-use and designed to simplify the pitching process in every sense. 

Explore the power of PRophet. Email sales@prprophet.ai to schedule your demo!