The Podcast
Connect With Us
Our Blog
Connect With Us

3 Keys to Landing Your Story in Your Dream Publication

Jacob Hanson
July 30, 2018

By: Kit Murray & Julia Brolin

Every company has at least one story to share, but how do you know if your story is compelling to people outside your office? When you’re immersed in creating and marketing an edtech solution, it can be a challenge to pinpoint what makes your story not just interesting to you, but enticing to editors and readers. Because let’s face it, every announcement, story idea, or company news update is not newsworthy.


AdobeStock_81294269 2 

Newsworthy stories are comprehensive—at PRP, we often talk about focusing on “process, not product.” For feature articles, editors want to see a piece that has viewpoints from credible, outside sources, as well as internal voices. Does your story have a clear audience and a clear takeaway for that audience? According to American Press Institute, a good story does more than amplify and inform. It adds value to the topic being addressed.


While there are many essential components that make up a good story, it can be easy to get lost in what’s required. But before writing too much, it’s smart to find an audience that wants to listen. And that means pitching.


Sending an email to the editor of a publication where you want your story to land can be a daunting task. Take a deep breath, be confident, and start typing. Here are three ways to prepare for sending your pitch to a publication of your dreams.


  1. Before you send a pitch, build a relationship. A writer or editor, like any human being, wants to connect with other people. Before attaching your article or sending a pitch, reach out to the writer or editor with a thoughtful email that has nothing to do with your pitch. Compliment them on a recent article that you enjoyed reading. Writers and reporters get plenty of comments about how their work could be “better,” so a genuine compliment is sure to stand out!


  1. Do the research to find out what they need. Once you’ve built a connection with an editor, invest some time in really getting to know the publication and how it works. Do they do all their own writing or do they accept submissions? Do they accept bylines by vendors, or solely educators, administrators, or experts? Identify the publication’s core audience. Does it align with the people you’re trying to reach? Is there a section of their site that focuses specifically on a topic, such as “Teaching Strategies”? When sending a pitch, mention if it would be a good fit for a specific section. If you can find an editorial calendar, tailor your pitch to one of the topics on the calendar.


  1. Don’t let your email get lost in the shuffle. How many emails do you get a day? Which ones are worth opening? One way to ensure an editor open your email is by having a subject line unlike the others. To really get the editor’s attention at your dream publication, think of what will be going through their heads when they read your email. Imagine getting an email with, “Story Idea,” or, “TIMELY:” in the headline. Odds are, it’s probably not all that timely, and editors don’t need to be told you have a story idea! Also, there is a right time and a wrong time to pitch. Check out the do’s and don’ts of sending a press release. These same rules apply. No two editors are the same, but one editor suggests a title starting with, “Writer pitch: or Writer pitching:” followed by your story idea. Editors want to see some key characteristics when sifting through email, such as the section your story fits in and the type of story it is.


Sometimes you may get a response the first try; other times it can be hard to get an idea for a story to stick. If you don’t hear back, follow up (unless the person you emailed specifically asks for no follow-up on pitches.) In your follow-up include new information, or images, or links that clarify what the story is and helps the editor do their job. When in doubt, take this advice from Ed Zitron, a writer at Inc., “Make it easy for the editor to take action.”


Thanks for sharing!

Get The Inside(r) Scoop

Get The Inside(r) Scoop