How Social Entrepreneurs and Non-Profiteers Should Pitch Stories

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a teleclass hosted by Marissa Feinberg, founder of Green Spaces, on writing pitches for social entrepreneurs and non-profiteers.

Large corporations pay premium prices  for professional PR services.  We’re a small New York green builder with a big mission: to turn New York green.  Our job is a mix of green building and educational outreach.  Having a good pitch is crucial to getting our story as much exposure as possible.

A “pitch” refers to the quick-and-dirty description of a story and why it matters.  Writers, for example, will pitch stories to editors, but in this context we talked about how small businesses would pitch stories to journalists in order to have their work featured.

A good pitch will:

1. Consider the style of the intended journalist and publication.  Before pitching a story, you should look through headlines and topics they’ve already covered to get a sense of what they’re looking for.  You should determine, for example, whether the publication has a local or national audience and focus your story accordingly.  Why should this publication/journalist feature your story?

2. Tie into timely, relevant events, such as recent news stories, upcoming holidays, or industry trends.   Why is your story important now?

3. Have a calculated effect on people’s behavior.  What do you want people to do differently, after having read your story?

I went into the class knowing absolutely nothing.  Thanks again to Marissa, for your patience.  I know a lot of other innovative thinkers could use help getting their ideas out there.

The first pitch night event is tonight!  Check out the event info.

About the author: Yi Deng

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