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Monday, February 19, 2018

Give your story a new angle: Pitch your Experts

During the past years we have seen an increase in demand for experts on several topics. Reporters are looking for subject matter experts that can provide quotes, interviews, and comment on breaking news events. How can you get on board with this trend? Give your story a new angle by pitching your expert.

An Expert Pitch consists of a summary of a researcher’s biography along with a brief description of their expertise on the subject. Add multimedia and you have the recipe for success. Our research shows that adding images and video correlates to 30% more views! Reporters want to have a sense of the expert’s communication skills and assess if they would be a good fit for a T.V. or radio interview.. If you have a story that you think could use more traction, change things around and have the researcher/expert be the main focus of the story.

What is the story about? Can your expert provide an insight on how this discovery came about? Can she/he talk about the research methods that were used?

Here are a few tips to create a successful Expert Pitch:

— Show reporters what is newsworthy about your expert’s knowledge: emphasize your researcher’s expertise on the subject of your press release. Try to stay away from general descriptions, show reporters the newsworthy side of your story and how your expert can be helpful.
—Keep your eye on current news and tie your pitch to a breaking news event.
—Give your expert pitch an interesting-inducing (and not too long) headline: let the expertise be the focus of your headline, not your institution. It might sound counterintuitive, but our research shows that headlines that don’t include the institution’s name get over 25% more views compared to those that lead with it.
—Embed a 1 to 3-minute video of your expert speaking about the subject or summarizing the press release.

Pitching your experts to give another turn to your release is a very successful strategy to get more media coverage and get your story more traction. Are there other strategies that you think can be effective in giving a story a new turn? Can you think of something else that can make an Expert Pitch more successful? What are some of your best practices when pitching stories? Do reporters prefer video over written content? Leave us a comment in the discussion board!

Posted by Carolina Zúñiga Rojas on 02/19/18 at 09:08 PM


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