Over my career I’ve placed hundreds of stories in major national media outlets, including front page features in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe and Washington Post, and major stories on CBS News, the Today Show, PBS NewsHour and NPR.
What’s the secret to placing stories like these and the many others I've landed? Here are five insights I’ve gleaned over the years.
Know a good story — one that will have meaning and relevance for a broad national audience — from a bad one, which resonates only within the walls of your organization.
Pitch the national context of a story, as well as your piece of it. That means rolling up your sleeves and digging. Nothing better establishes credibility with reporters and editors.
Know exactly who — what reporter or editor at your target media outlet — is right for your idea. Media databases can help, but there’s no substitute for studying an outlet to see who covers what.
When pitching your story idea, write well — directly, colorfully, succinctly.
Follow up diligently — but within reason. If things aren’t working, take “no” for answer. That will buy you an inestimable amount of good will for your next pitch. And there are always other outlets to approach.
By working so closely with reporters and editors, and reading their work, I’ve also learned to write journalistically.
Op eds I’ve co-authored or ghost written have appeared in media ranging from to USA Today to The Hill to Scientific American.
And stories and press releases I’ve written have been featured on university home pages, on the covers of alumni magazines and in countless media that picked them up.
I've also produced several short documentary-style videos, blocking out the script, researching images and directing the editing process.
A sample of my work appears on this website. To learn more about how my publicity placement, op ed, story-telling and general communications skills can help your organization, contact me.