Monday, July 25, 2011

Pitch Perfect

After last week's successful pitch (albeit one reached via a rather circuitous route!) I thought this week, I'd briefly mention about another pitching success.

I was reading a magazine and had reached the Letters Page, where one reader's correspondence jumped out. It was moaning about a difficulty they were having and the letter ended with a question: did other readers have a similar problem?

I was about to construct a letter in response, but as I began outlining the points I wanted to make, I realised that there was an article here. Hmmm. Perhaps it was worth pitching it to the editor?

And so that's how I began my pitch. I mentioned the letter in question and said, here are the solutions I can offer to this reader's question, whereupon I then bullet-pointed my ideas. Within ten minutes, the editor had replied, with a Yes please! (I wish all pitches worked that way.)

  • By telling the editor that I was offering an article that would answer a reader's question, it shows that I read the magazine.
  • Using the letter as the inspiration for an idea, I knew that it was a topic that was of interest to the readership.
  • And by commissioning the article, the editor can show that he is listening to his readers and providing articles and information that he knows they are keen to learn.
 Next time you read a letter in a magazine's letters page, consider replying with another letter, but check first whether you could get an article out of it. Instead of writing a letter to the letters page, you may be better off writing a query letter to the editor.

Good luck!