Are you still blasting out news in the hope something sticks? What more do you have to hear to stop? Will you stop if a journalist tells you to stop? This is Steve O’Hear’s advice for pitching stories.
I’ve written several times on the blast out mentality of most of my professional colleagues.
And I’ve even offered a solution.
Here’s a perfect response from the horse’s mouth. TechCrunch journalist Steve O’Hear tells you succinctly how it’s done. Read it before you click send on your next blast out press release.
(Disclosure: This is shared without Steve’s permission – and he doesn’t endorse me in any way. Although he is very welcome to.)
How to pitch me stories
I’m currently a writer at TechCrunch, focussing mostly on European Internet and mobile startups, companies and products. Here’s how to pitch or send me story tips:
1. I prefer news exclusively as I always like to be first.
2. I’m happy to hear about an announcement in advance, especially for company/product launches and similar. That way I can be well-researched and find my own angle and voice for a story. Work with me.
3. My best sources don’t just send me their own pitches but act as tipsters for other news that they know I’ll be interested in.
This could be introducing me to a cool European startup that’s been flying under the press radar or perhaps hasn’t launched yet.
Or other tips and industry rumours, such as a founder at a major startup leaving to start something new, an announced funding round, an acquisition/exit that is about to happen or has happened but hasn’t been announced or reported elsewhere, or a company on the verge of shutting down or making a pivot.
It can be as simple as, “Hey Steve, I’ve heard ________, you should maybe dig into it further and see what you come up with”.
You know the kind of thing.
4. Related to the above, I always keep my sources protected. You can send me tips in complete confidence. In the past, I’ve handled many delicate stories, none of which have ever come back to bite the source (or me, thankfully). Ask around and people will vouch for my trustworthiness, integrity and good judgement.
5. I’ll honour embargoes if I agree to them first. But I generally give priority to stories where I’m first — see point one.
6. Get to know me and what I’m interested in or have covered. Best way is Twitter (@sohear). Contact me via email steve[at]ohear[dot][net].
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