Hannah Smith

Helping Reporters Do Their Job

Fewer reporters in newsrooms creates an opportunity to shop more complete story pitches. That requires creativity and integrity from PR professionals.Shrinking newsrooms make it tougher to pitch story ideas, but it also puts a premium on PR enterprise to outline a great story idea that is easy to follow by a stretched-thin reporter.

"If you can sketch a story and help a reporter fill in the blanks, you are well on your way to a successful pitch in today's evolving media environment," says CFM Account Executive Hannah Smith.

At a minimum, most newsrooms are looking for more than just words on a page.

"They want images, video, contacts and any relevant context," Smith says. "In short, they want help with their homework." This includes finding credible people who use products or are affected by policy decisions for reporters to interview.

This kind of scripted journalism requires PR professionals and anyone else pitching stories to keep their integrity front and foremost. "If you steer a reporter into a ditch or blindside them," Smith says, "don't be surprised if you find them unwilling to work with you on your next pitch."