Anyone can pitch a story
Editors are always looking for fresh story ideas that fit their publication, there is a lot you can do to improve your chances of success. Think about the format your story will work best in – is it news, a blog, opinion, a feature or something else? If you are going on location, contact an editor before you go, so that you can offer to pitch stories from the scene.
Don’t pitch topics. Pitch stories. Steer clear of quotidian questions. Make sure your story source will work with you before you pitch. Identify your sources by name and mention their credentials. Do not send your pitch as an attachment.
Never send pieces to multiple outlets at the same time without telling all the editors you’ve pitched that you’ve done this. It’s more fun for editors to be part of the thinking and shaping part of putting the story together.
Always include your phone number in your pitch email. If your pitch is time sensitive, say so in the pitch and say you’d love a response. Identify a specific section and find out who edits it. Then pitch directly to them, not a general email.
Give a brief summary of who you are including which publications you have worked for previously. There is always the suspicion that the lead you’ve given away in your email is now being worked up into a news story by the paper’s own staff.
Try giving enough information in your pitch to whet the editor’s appetite without making it easy to follow up the story, once you have them hooked you can tell them more.
If your submission is accepted, keep up the good work!