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How to become a golden source to a reporter

You now know a lot about making a pitch, and getting it right. You know some great ways to grab a reporter's attention (although you could probably learn more), and you know how to make a reporter use you as a source. However, a reporter is not going to want to use every pitch you make, but if they are ever in a bind, or need a story fast, you want them to come to you. So, how can you become the golden source for reporters to come to?

The following are some ways to become a golden source to a reporter:

  1. Offer reporters other sources and contact information of people. If you are selfish, you won't become golden, but if you can offer them names and contact into for other people they can call or email as sources for your story, you will be more than golden. Reporters want to be credible, the more sources they have, the better they look. You will become especially valuable to the reporter if you can offer them a resource that takes a different viewpoint or side of the story than yourself. Don't be selfish, it will get your further.
  2. Make the reporter's job easier. You are going to be someone they use and listen to if you hand them information already prepared so that they do not have to take their own time to find it. They are on tight schedules and are busy as it is, so see what you can do to make their hobs easier. For example, in your pitch, mention any good visuals that they may be interested in. This is especially important if you are pitching to a television reporter.
  3. Be the local angle. If you can tie into a national story and be the local angle on the story they are going to love you. People want to know how they can relate to what is going on nationally or internationally. If you become that relation, you not only make their job easier, but you keep their viewers interested in the news. So, let's look at an example. Gas prices are high all over the country, so the local angle could be what you are doing to keep gas prices low, or to make amends for charging so much. So, for example, you may own a gas station, and you give everyone who buys gas from you a free fountain drink to help make up for the national rise in the price of fuel. If you want to be a local angle, read the newspaper every morning, and watch for the trend stories that the media are reporting on. Then ask yourself how you can be local angle. Then pitch it.

If you can give a reporter an edge, and one they can't find elsewhere, you will be a golden source and you will be the person they come to if they ever need a story in your niche or industry.

Sometimes, a reporter is forgetful, and even if you established yourself as a golden source before, they may need some gentle reminders of the valuable information you have to offer. Pitching with email is a great way to do this. It is also a great way to make an initial pitch to a reporter, or establish your first contact. However, you have to do it right. Tomorrow look for great advice and information on making a pitch over email. With the world moving to the internet, learning to pitch over email is really huge.

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