Get Known podcast: Get inside the journalists’ mindset.
In this episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Erica Benke from the BBC, who shared her experiences covering stories from basic income and climate change to winter cycling and clean water usage technology. In our conversation, she offers tips for talking to journalists and getting your pitch story right, along with providing an inside look at her own pitching of stories to editors and how that process works within the BBC.
Much of our conversation had to do with making sure an element of humanity along with simplicity are keys to making a great story (or a great pitch). But there were many other nuggets of information for any comms person looking to communicate with journalists better. Among the key takeaways were the following important points:
- She tailors story pitches to editors due to differences in pitching to radio, vs. social media vs. TV.
- Think about your “one sentence” that can grab the attention of the publisher and journalist you are speaking to.
- What is the big difficulty in getting a journalist to listen to your story? Perhaps you are too close to it.
- One idea is to challenge yourself to consider if you were explaining your story to your grandmother. Try the 8-year-old and the 80-year-old test.
- One idea is to open your favorite media website and look at the stories. You will immediately know which ones it is that you would read.
- Stay away from marketing and management slang in your pitches.
Listen to the newest episode of the Get Known podcast with Erika Benke to learn more!