To get noticed, story pitches to the news media still need a local angle and a good hook, but now they also need to be shareable online.
A pitch containing useful, relevant information or an inspirational story has a good prospect of earning clicks and shares from readers. Shareability makes your story pitch more irresistible.
News reporters and editors have always cared about the readability of stories, which they reflected in where they placed stories in newspapers or on radio and TV. But the digital era has added the new dimension of clickability to the equation of determining the value of a story pitch.
As more of the news and news viewers migrate online, there is more pressure in newsrooms to zero in on stories that have online appeal. Some news organizations use pay incentives to encourage reporters to find and write stories that are clickable. Online analytics take a lot of the guesswork out of what's being shared and what isn't.
Shareability represents a whole new line of engagement between marketers and the news media. Companies such as Uber have employed sophisticated media relations strategies to burst into markets – even when they are operating outside municipal regulations – using stories that area highly shareable.
The old rules of story pitching largely still apply. Your pitches need to be timely, newsworthy, locally relevant and basically interesting. Discovering that the dwarf planet Pluto has water droplets in its atmosphere probably wouldn't make the cut at the local news desk.
The new rules encourage story-pitching innovation with a clever hook, viewer interactivity or tools such as videos, photo galleries, infographics and charts – anything that can elevate a good story to a "you gotta see this" story.
You enhance your ability to get stories placed if you intentionally imbue them with shareable qualities. It is another way for you and reporters to get on the same online page.