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Want to Reach New Audiences? Here’s How to Pitch Three Different Outlets the Same Story – With a Twist

February 13, 2018 - 3:19pm
With ReThink's new Millennials & New Media Guide and our reporter contact database, it's never been easier to tailor your pitch for the right outlets
We would all love to be able to reach new audiences, and with ReThink’s new Millennials and New Media Guide, it’s never been easier. The Millennials & New Media Guide is a useful index of new and rising outlets to reach the elusive younger audiences who can sustain our movements for coming generations. 
 
But to be successful with these new outlets, it is most effective to tailor your pitch in a way that is relevant to their audiences. To show you how one story can be pitched to three very different outlets with a bit of personalization, I picked a few of my favorite publications from the list and crafted a sample pitches on the U.S. Supreme Court case Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. In this case, SCOTUS will decide if Ohio’s aggressive voter purging process, which disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters, is constitutional.
 
To increase the chance of my pitch receiving a reply, I looked on our media contact database for the most relevant contact (an aside: Are you a ReThink member? If so, contact us to get access to the database), followed them on Twitter, and searched for themes in their writing to which I could connect the story. 
 
This is just one way to use the guide; let it inspire you to try a new outreach technique today! 

 

Outlet: Cosmopolitan 

 
From the Millennials & New Media Guide: “Cosmopolitan is an international fashion magazine for women. Often referred to as Cosmo, its content as of 2011 includes articles on women’s issues, relationships, sex, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, fashion, and beauty. Articles and stories are also available online.” 
 
The thing I admire most about Cosmo is their dynamic Snapchat Discover feed. The channel mostly features funny shareables, celebrity news, and human interest stories, but some days they include hard news stories as well. It’s my dream to pitch a story that is then featured on their Snapchat feed. 
 
Since Joanna Coles’ time as editor-in-chief from 2012-2016 (she is now Chief Content Officer for Hearst Magazines), the magazine has become well-rounded to report on the many issues impacting women’s lives, beyond beauty and health tips. There is a dedicated news and politics team that writes frequently for the web.  
 
Here’s how I pitched Rebecca Nelson, senior writer for news and politics:
 
Subject: Covering Ohio voter purge case at SCOTUS next week? 
 
Hi Rebecca, 
 
Hope you’re well. I’m writing in advance of next week’s oral arguments in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute in which Ohio Secretary of State will have to defend removing voters from the rolls via the state’s “Supplemental Process,” which voting rights defenders argue is a total misapplication of the National Voter Registration Act a.k.a. the Motor Voter Act. If Ohioans hadn’t voted in two years, the state sent a small postcard to their last address and deregistered those did not reply. This voter purge technique reduces participation, intimidates voters, and hinders democracy. Women who move or change their last names could be disproportionately removed from voter rolls in this process. 
 
Are you planning to cover the case? Let me know if you’d like to connect with the state and national advocates fighting the case. 
 
More background is available on Demos' website.  
 
As we know, the right to vote isn’t a “use it or lose it” sort of thing. 
 
Best wishes, 
Emma Weinstein-Levey 
 

Outlet 2: Colorlines 

 
From the Millennials & New Media Guide: “Colorlines is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning investigative reporting and news analysis. Serves as a multi-racial site devoted to covering the politics and creations of communities of color. Editorial presents articles written by leaders, organizers, and authors of color on topics such as racial issues, arts, and relevant social issues. It presents news on an international scale that affects those living in the U.S. The publication targets racially diverse, socially aware, culturally literate, and politically committed readers.” 
 
Colorlines is my go-to source for domestic news with a racial and economic justice lens. Published by the think tank Race Forward, you can count on Colorlines for sharp reporting and commentary on culture, organizing, government, and more. The mission of Race Forward, to “build awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information, and experiences,” shines through the writing on Colorlines. 
 
Here’s how I pitched Kenrya Ranking, deputy editor: 
 
Subject: Voter purging before SCOTUS next week  
 
Hi Kenrya, 
 
Hope you’re well. I’m writing in advance of next week’s oral arguments in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute in which Ohio Secretary of State will have to defend removing voters from the rolls via the state’s “Supplemental Process,” which voting rights defenders argue is a misapplication of the National Voter Registration Act. 
 
The process pushes citizens away from the ballot box by creating arbitrary and unreasonable requirements for Americans to preserve their right to vote. Ohioans who may not have voted in two years are sent a postcard to their last address and deregistered if they don’t reply. The process disproportionately impacted voters of color and low-income voters. It’s another insidious way of pushing back on civil rights gains.
 
Are you planning to cover the case? Let me know I can connect you with the state and national advocates fighting to protect voter registration. 
 
More background is available on Demos' website.  
 
As we know, the right to vote shouldn’t be a “use it or lose it” sort of thing. 
 
Best wishes, 
Emma Weinstein-Levey 

 

Outlet #3: Splinter News  

 
From the Millennials & New Media Guide: “Splinter is an online blog owned by Fusion Media Group, formerly known as Fusion. It serves as a multi-platform media network that helps young people cut through the rhetoric, divisiveness, and conversation to the issues that truly impact the day-to-day lives of this generation. Splinter features a mix of online and cable content that includes original reporting and investigative journalism, and coverage of news, pop culture, politics, and social justice aimed at English-speaking millennials, including those of a Hispanic background.” 
 
This Gizmodo media property covers politics, produces lots of video and visual content, and has a particular focus on issues of interest to the Latinx community. Every page on the site links to sister outlets including Deadspin, The Root, and Jezebel.   
 
On Twitter, I found that Emma Roller, a politics reporter at Splinter, has recently tweeted a lot about socialism and labor organizing, so I wove some of that rhetoric into my pitch. 
  
Here’s how I pitched her:
 
Subject: Ohio voter purge case at SCOTUS next week 
 
Hi Emma, 
 
Hope you’re well. I’m writing in advance of next week’s oral arguments in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute in which Ohio Secretary of State will have to defend removing voters from the rolls via the state’s “Supplemental Process,” which voting rights defenders argue is a misapplication of the National Voter Registration Act a.k.a. the Motor Voter Act. Ohioans who hadn’t voted in two years received a small postcard to their last address and were deregistered if they did not reply. 
 
The right to vote isn’t a “use it or lose it” sort of thing; voters who can’t make it to the polls (often wage workers and caretakers) or don’t see a candidate worth voting shouldn’t be punished for missing an election. This voter purge is another attempt to limit the power of participatory democracy.
 
Are you planning to cover the case? Let me know if you’d like to connect with the state and national advocates on the case. 
 
More background is available on Demos' website.  
 
Best wishes, 
Emma Weinstein-Levey 
 

Always keep in mind the rules of pitching:

Keep it short, keep it newsworthy, offer a concrete resource. 
 
Now, go forth and get to know some new reporters!   
 
Are you a member of the ReThink community and would like a copy of the Millennials & New Media Guide, hot off the press? Email [email protected] or reach out to your ReThink contacts to request a copy.
 
How do you make sure you're tailoring your pitch for the right outlet? Tweet to us at @rethink_media to let us know!

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