11 Insights on How To Successfully Pitch a Story Idea


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11 Insights on How To Successfully Pitch a Story Idea

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11 Insights on How To Successfully Pitch a Story Idea

To help you master the art of pitching a story, we’ve gathered insights from a diverse group of professionals, including founders and CEOs. From securing media coverage with credibility to having strong and well-researched openings, here are eleven expert tips on how to craft a successful story pitch.

  • Secure Media Coverage With Credibility
  • Draw Relatable Narratives From Real-Life Experiences
  • Plan Strategic and Concise Pitches
  • Consider the Components and Application
  • Cultivate Authentic Workplace Relationships
  • Win by Combining Humor and Data
  • Apply Compelling Storytelling in Your Presentation
  • Make Pitches Conversational for Engagement
  • Conduct Niche Site Research for Success
  • Balance Arguments in a Long-Form Pitch
  • Have Strong and Well-Researched Openings

Secure Media Coverage With Credibility

Pitching a story is a great idea that can be used for securing media coverage and reaching a larger public. In order to make a story pitch successful, it must be concise, certain, engaging, and credible to the audience. For example, ABC Tech has an AI medical device that can change the traditional way of patient care.

It is more accurate, shows faster results, and is also appreciated by experts. This turned out to be a very captivating story for both teaching and health-related audiences.

The company approached journalists and media channels with this story. The pitch was a total success because the content was exciting and the storytellers created an impact on the audience.

Faizan KhanFaizan Khan
PR and Content Marketing Specialist, Ubuy UK

Draw Relatable Narratives From Real-Life Experiences

A genuine narrative of real-life experiences is always preferred. A well-crafted story‌ must be relatable. The optimal way to craft such a story is to draw from life experiences. The concept of being grounded is the starting point of my pitch.

The primary focus is connecting with the readers. Following that, the important information that builds up to the lessons and skills gained through the experience is introduced. Being in the tech and finance industry, jargon is always avoided. Instead, the story is sprinkled with relatable anecdotes and down-to-earth financial advice.

A remarkable pitch involved the financial struggles of a very close friend. It narrated how she overcame her struggles to become financially independent, retire early, and build generational wealth. This story was featured on major media sites like Yahoo. It also attracted a whole new wave of global readers to the website.

Samantha HawrylackSamantha Hawrylack
Founder, How To FIRE LLC

Plan Strategic and Concise Pitches

Crafting a successful story pitch requires conciseness and strategic planning. For example, I recently pitched a story about a startup’s innovative approach to sustainable packaging. The pitch focused on the company’s mission to reduce plastic waste and highlighted its unique eco-friendly materials and designs.

To make the pitch engaging, I included eye-catching visuals of eco-friendly packaging and emphasized the startup’s commitment to environmental responsibility. I also incorporated data on the growing demand for sustainable products and the positive impact of eco-friendly packaging on the planet.

To increase shareability, I suggested a social media campaign centered on the startup’s sustainability efforts, encouraging customers to share their positive experiences with the packaging. This approach not only fostered brand advocacy but also raised awareness about sustainable choices among consumers.

Aviad FaruzAviad Faruz
CEO, Know Mastery

Consider the Components and Application

An interesting and concise approach that conveys the essence of the narrative and its relevance to the audience is required when pitching a story. A successful pitch must pique the recipient’s interest while highlighting the distinctive value of the story. Key story proposal components include:

  • Attention-Grabber
  • Story Angle
  • Relevance
  • Supporting Facts
  • Call to Action

A story about a local community’s efforts to overcome adversity during the pandemic was proposed as an example. The presentation highlighted the community’s resiliency, unity, and inventiveness in the face of adversity.

The success of the pitch was ascribed to its captivating narrative, emotional resonance, and relevance to the current international situation. The story was well-received and received extensive media coverage, demonstrating the effectiveness of a well-crafted and persuasive proposal.

Michael CallahanMichael Callahan
Founder and Director, The Callahan Law Firm

Cultivate Authentic Workplace Relationships

To cultivate authentic relationships with coworkers from different backgrounds, focus on creating a culture of belonging. As a leader, reflect on how you can intentionally foster an environment where all employees feel welcomed, included, and valued.

Begin by examining moments when you felt the strongest sense of inclusion at work and identify the common elements that made those experiences special. Implementing a few of these practices in your workplace can go a long way in building authentic connections across diverse backgrounds.

Matias RodsevichMatias Rodsevich

Win by Combining Humor and Data

I recall once pitching for a high-stakes tech client. I opened with a zany anecdote about their software saving my day when I mistakenly deleted an important presentation. This wasn’t just a lighthearted icebreaker—it showcased their product’s value from a real-world user’s perspective.

I continued with hard data to back up my claims, providing concrete proof of the product’s efficacy. The blend of humor, personal experience, and facts worked magic, and they were hooked. We sealed the deal.

This experience taught me the power of humor. It doesn’t detract from professionalism, but adds a human touch, making the pitch memorable.

Ryan SteinolfsonRyan Steinolfson
Founder, Accelerate Marketing

Apply Compelling Storytelling in Your Presentation

Pitching a story requires strategic storytelling and an attention-grabbing presentation. As the GM of our First Aid business, a campaign called “First Aid Heroes” was once run. The story was pitched around ordinary employees turning into workplace heroes with first aid training.

The key to its success was not just the intrigue around a “hero narrative,” but how the possibility of anyone being that hero was emphasized. It was personal, relatable. Factual statistics about workplace accidents were combined with emotional appeals.

Thus, people could visualize themselves in such situations and recognize the immense value of first aid knowledge. This campaign saw unprecedented participation rates and a significant increase in our training program sign-ups. The right blend of reality and inspiration worked wonders.

Haya SubhanHaya Subhan
General Manager, First Aid at Work Course

Make Pitches Conversational for Engagement

Pitching a story effectively is about engaging the audience, and this starts by making the pitch more of a conversation than a monologue. It’s essential to understand the audience, their interests, and their needs, as this guides the narrative.

The aim is to captivate them, making them feel as if they’re part of the story, not just passive listeners. A successful pitch, for instance, could introduce a revolutionary product to potential investors. Instead of merely listing features and benefits, we placed the investors into the narrative, illustrating how this product could address their specific challenges and objectives.

The success of this pitch lay in its conversational tone and a keen understanding of the audience’s needs. A successful story pitch isn’t just about what you tell, but how you engage your listeners and involve them in the narrative.

Rafael Sarim ÖzdemirRafael Sarim Özdemir
Founder and CEO, Zendog Labs

Conduct Niche Site Research for Success

As a team lead for the guest-posting arm of a digital media company, I provide the latest insurance information to consumers. My go-tos for writing a successful story pitch are finding sites in our niche, checking their guest-posting guidelines, reviewing their existing articles for style and tone, and ensuring my pitch doesn’t duplicate their already-published content.

I then craft a title and a one-paragraph synopsis, and my manager sends it to her site contact along with our link and anchor text suggestion.

We’ve found this to be a very successful pitch process and have generated thousands of articles for hundreds of sites.

For example, one of our contacts—who owns a popular automotive website and another site covering the custom car, truck, hot rod, and 4×4 scene—has approved pitches such as “How Young Male Drivers Can Save on Car Insurance,” “How to Lower Your Sports Car Insurance Rate,” “The Best Usage-Based Car Insurance,” and “What to Do After a Car Accident.”

Michelle RobbinsMichelle Robbins
Licensed Insurance Agent, Clearsurance

Balance Arguments in a Long-Form Pitch

As a source in a long-form pitch, it’s important to provide both sides of the argument in question. This showcases sector knowledge and provides the writer with follow-up questions that may draw in other sources.

Recently, I pitched an article on data-as-a-service platforms. When asked about the “best” pricing strategy, I responded with the merits of the different options such as flat fee, usage, and seat-based pricing.

Trevor EwenTrevor Ewen
COO, QBench

Have Strong and Well-Researched Openings

Pitching a story requires initial research on the audience. Understanding their interests and dislikes allows for a tailored pitch. A strong, attention-grabbing opening is crucial when starting the pitch.

This can quickly pique the audience’s interest, making them want more. A surprising statistic, a thought-provoking question, or an interesting quote can serve as a hook. The story should be described briefly to maintain the audience’s interest.

An example of a successful story pitch is the story of the unsung heroes of COVID—the medical workers who tirelessly worked in challenging conditions. The story’s success hinged on the emotional connection it built with the audience, as everyone was affected by the pandemic‌.

CJ Lloyd
CJ Lloyd, CEO, Utah’s Best Home Pros

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “How do you pitch a story? What goes into the pitch? Please share an example of a successful story pitch, and what went into the success.”

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