Thursday, June 28, 2012

The 3 Rules of a Successful Pitch

Lots of great news coming your way this week, Edsters! Remember when I promised I would make a pitch this week? Mission accomplished.

A relatively slow week meant that the other interns and I had plenty of time to surf the web at work. Since I’m interning at a regional mag, there’s a list of about 10 city blogs that I frequent to keep up to speed with news and events. When I noticed that the opening of a new shop kept appearing on a lot of the sites I was reading, I realized it would fit in pretty well with our magazine. So I calmed my nerves and wrote up an e-mail to my editors. What should a pitch include, you ask?

1.     Who, what, where, when, why? These are the nuts and bolts of your pitch—a brief summary of what exactly your proposed story is about. Explain what’s going on, and try to make it sound as interesting as possible.
2.     Why do we care?  A slight variation of above, this is probably the most important part of your pitch. You need to convince your editors that not only is this a great story, but it’s a great story for your Mag in particular. What’s special about this story that will appeal to your Mag’s readers?
3.     A fresh perspective. Make sure that what you’re pitching hasn’t been done before! Approach the topic differently than other publications have so that your story is completely unique.

I overcame my nerves and sent my pitch to my editors and—drum roll please—they liked it! They told me to check on the timing of the opening to see if it would fit in with an upcoming issue. If it does, I may just get to write it.

In the meantime, though, something else exciting happened. I got my first writing assignment! My job was to cover an event for the Mag—an event that already happened. Since I couldn’t attend, I interviewed the PR rep for the event over the phone. The publicist ended up being extremely difficult to get a hold of, which made my job pretty frustrating. I spent most of the day calling and e-mailing different people, then twiddling my thumbs nervously when I wasn’t getting responses.

I understand publicists can be busy, but it can be stressful when your entire article depends on talking to just one person. By the end of the day, though, I was able to talk to the people I needed to, and I completed my first story for the Mag!  It was just a few paragraphs explaining the details of what happened at the event, so not much, but I can’t wait to see my name in the Mag once it comes out in July. And hopefully soon I can actually attend an event and avoid the whole awkward phone interview thing. 

Overall, it was an exciting week, Edsters. I overcame my shyness and (hopefully) successfully pitched a story. I got my first byline. I learned a lot. Let’s hope this is a sign of many good things to come!

How have your internships been going? 

See ya next Thursday,
Ed's Regional Mag Intern

No comments:

Post a Comment