Friday, October 15, 2010

Tips for Pitching Stories to the Media

Thanks to all who participated in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic regional networking event for IAAPA public relations and communications professionals! The event was held at Hersheypark and included lunch, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and speaker Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, a freelance travel and tourism writer. Amusement parks, FECs, and ski resorts were all represented and we had a lot of productive discussions.

Here are a few pitching tips from Marilyn:
- Personalize the pitch. Read the writing of the reporter and understand their interests.
- Point out what makes it different.
- Look for current trends or local events that relate to what you are pitching.
- Include key facts and messages as bullet points in the body of the e-mail and attach the full release.
- Timing is important. Don't forget some publications require information months in advance (like IAAPA's own FUNWORLD magazine!).
- E-mail pitches, don't call.
- Build relationships. Be accessible.
- Return phone calls.

Thanks again to all who helped make the day a success. We learned a lot in planning this and look forward to holding similar events in 2011.

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