Skip to main content

The Pitch Episode 70: Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Or Ignore It Entirely?


Don’t fall into the false “breaking news” trap. Learn how to use creativity to catch someone’s attention without reverting to false alarm news alerts.

The Pitch Episode 70:
Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Or Ignore It Entirely?


Before the dawn of broadcast news, newspaper editors would publish an extra edition to the regular daily newspaper in the event of breaking news. Today, we don’t need extra or special editions because journalists have a variety of ways of getting breaking news out using today’s technology. You don’t even have to turn on a TV anymore; media outlets will push their extra news right to your phone via a push notification or social media alert. But has the ease and accessibility of getting breaking news out to the public diminished its importance? I believe it has, simply because everything seems like it’s breaking news now, since this term is being overused by media outlets to capture more share of audience attention. This can also be a problem in pitching. Don’t fall into the false “breaking news” trap. Before you pitch, choose your words wisely to set up what you are pitching or printing in a press release. Words like “breaking” and “exclusive” should be reserved for news that really fits this description and not just news you are seeking extra attention for. There are other more creative ways to grab someone’s attention rather than just reverting to standard news alerts. “The Pitch” challenge today: use creativity to draw someone to your pitch by coming up with a catchy headline or write a creative introduction to the topic you are pitching. If you can show the person you are pitching how they could potentially use your story idea by delivering on creativity, tight messaging and helpful content, your pitch will be more likely received. Don’t rely on attention grabbing, false alarm language to get your pitch recognized. Spend the time to make it truly worth something to “read all about.”


What headline has sucked you into a news story that later felt like false advertising?
How did this make you feel?
Without reverting to a “breaking news” approach, how can you change your pitch approach to authentically grab someone’s attention?

Back to Communications Skills