Secrets to pitching major news media

How do you gain trust and influence with reporters at big time news outlets?

Joe Connolly receives hundreds of pitches and press releases every week. He’s The Wall Street Journal Business Correspondent for CBS Radio in New York.

Like Connolly, I have been on the receiving end of pitches from businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Some days you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

In a recent interview, I asked Connolly to share some dos and don’ts when pitching stories. For example, Connolly admits he has a hang-up with the word ‘announce.’

“If the release says ‘so-and-so is pleased to announce,’ I don’t read any further. I don’t want self-serving. The headline and lead have got to ring true.”

The secret sauce

You may be surprised, but Connolly suggests that anyone writing a news release start two-to-three months in advance. “Follow your local paper, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, television and radio until you see or hear something about your industry. Look for things that you think are really good, really on the mark, and really accurate.  Then call or e-mail that reporter saying you saw the article or interview. Tell them, ‘I’m exactly like XXXX, you might be interested to know we are also doing such and such…’”

Connolly goes on to remind us about the importance of complimenting reporters. “They are just like anybody else. They want to get positive feedback and they’ll think, ‘Wow, this is a really sharp person.’  A lot of my frequent contacts are people who reached out to me because they heard me talking about something that rang a bell in their industry.”

The best opening line for a phone pitch 

Like so many other reporters, Connolly’s pet peeve when getting pitched on the phone is in the opening line. “If I answer the phone, don’t ask me how I am. Just say, ‘Hi Joe, this is xx from X Company, are you on deadline?’ That’s the best opening line of all. I just think that’s the greatest way to open a call with a reporter.”  Note to self: Connolly says he prefers e-mail pitches.

The final tip

For important media, call and pitch the story yourself. You are the business owner, says Connolly. “Whatever you do, don’t have a summer intern call around with news releases. That is an insult unless they are calling a 23-year-old reporter who is starting out.”

Send your pitches to [email protected]

PS: I invite you to take a peek at my new Kindle book, The Badass Book of Social Media and Business Communication. It’s packed with tips and insights on creating news, blogging, communication, and more!


  1. 106677 255660Hello! I would wish to supply a large thumbs up for your excellent info you could have here about this post. Ill be coming back to your blog internet site for further soon. 604773

  2. 921982 122306Hosting a weblog composing facility (in a broad sense) requires unlimited space. So I suggest you to discover such internet hosting (internet space provider) that give flexibility inside your internet space. 829974

  3. 971948 605672In the event you happen to significant fortunate folks forms, referring by natural means, in addition you catch the attention of some sort of envy in consideration of those types the other campers surrounding you which have tough times about this subject. awnings 987758

  4. 752335 128350Thoughts speak within just around the internet control console video clip games have stimulated pretty expert to own on microphone as nicely as , resemble the perfect tough guy to positively the mediocre ones. Basically fundamental issues in picture gaming titles. Drug Recovery 271670

  5. 303108 827743An intriguing discussion will probably be worth comment. I feel that you just write much far more about this topic, it may possibly become a taboo topic but usually consumers are inadequate to communicate in on such topics. To another. Cheers 640724

  6. 656477 885334I truly like this blog internet site, will certainly come back once again. Make positive you carry on creating quality content material articles. 212760

  7. 845479 518563I want to start a weblog written by a fictitious character commenting on politics, current events, news etc..How?. 242108

  8. 42615 793440Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any indicates you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks! 666934

  9. 424010 388035Visiting begin a business venture about the internet generally means exposing your products or services moreover provider not only to some individuals inside your town, but but to plenty of future prospects who could be over the internet many times. simple internet business 509643

  10. I liked up to you will obtain performed proper here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you want be delivering the following. ill indisputably come more beforehand once more since precisely the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here