how to make your story first tier media worthy
First-tier media outlets receive thousands of pitches every day, so how can you have a story that stands out for them? Learn how to make your story first-tier media-worthy with a few simple tips!

Have a Strong Call to Action

When pitching your story to media outlets in general, you have to have a strong call to action, otherwise known as a ‘news hook’, that would grab the attention of the editor/journalist.

First-tier media outlets usually publish stories that have causes at their core, which would allow a glimpse into a bigger picture. In order to grab the attention of journalists, your story has to have a news angle beyond having your business in the news, which could be a strong call to action in regards to a certain topic.

Use Case Studies

Case studies are an imperative part of a story. The human element is the core of any story that is first-tier media-worthy.

Sharing anecdotal experiences will help develop credibility and strengthen your call to action.

Sourcing a case study is a difficult task for journalists, as it can be time-consuming. Sourcing this element of the story for them takes a task away, while simultaneously strengthening your call to action. This will increase the chances of your story being published by first-tier media outlets.

Use Partners

Including a partner in your story pitch provides an additional voice of authority, hence making it more credible.

This can include institutions, academics, political parties, peak bodies, and other voices of expertise. If you are a part of these institutions, then it could be beneficial to provide specific professional insights into the industry/field.

Sourcing multiple voices sharing the same sentiments legitimizes the story and will help create a very strong pitch to the journalists.

Use Imagery

News media usually has a visual element to their stories, which is especially the case for broadcast TV stories. Providing imagery along with your pitch helps strengthen the message you are trying to convey. It would also relieve the journalist of the task of finding appropriate imagery for your story.

Depending on the platform, that could include pictures of case studies or the business, or video footage and interviews.

React to The Now News Cycle

Keeping an eye on what is on in the news cycle is imperative. At any one point, the news cycle is usually focusing on a couple of topics at a time. Knowing when your story would be the most relevant increases your chances of having your story picked up. Alternatively, you can try to see how your story can have an angle that fits into the trending stories of the time.

For example, trying to get your story covered during a national election would be difficult, however, if you try to relate it to a policy or political discussion, it would increase the chances of the story being noticed and picked up.

Have ‘Good Talent’

Finally, have good talent for your story. Whether it is an interviewee for a case study or TV, it is important to have talent that can relay the story in the most effective way. That will boost the credibility of your story, help the journalist become interested, and potentially increase your chances of being published by first-tier media again! You can see our tips on how to be a ‘good talent’ in our previous blog!

To Summarise

Getting your story featured in a first-tier media outlet can be exhilarating! Making your story stand out to journalists is key. There are a few tips to increase the chances of your story being picked up.

Firstly, have a strong call to action, and be clear on what your message is. Secondly, include case studies and partners in your story. This will relieve the journalist of the task of finding case studies for the story, and it will strengthen your message. You can also provide imagery for your story in the pitch, which helps set the parameters for your story and helps the journalist in writing your story as well. Moreover, keeping an eye on the news cycle is important to see when your story would be most impactful and relevant. Finally, have ‘good talent’, which would solidify your call to action, and get your message across effectively to the journalist.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.


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