Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to pitch the media

We recently pitched an item from Witherell’s auction—a famous document from World War II.   

It took me three days to sort through the information—and let it gel—before I came up with a succinct hook.

“Surrender? Nuts! Pivotal World War II battle document for auction.”

Not only did we need a catchy subject line, but we also needed to explain what was going on in a few sentences, so the editor could glance at it, delete it or pass it to a reporter:

“For the first time, the surrender document sent to General Anthony McAuliffe by the German commander that played a pivotal role in World War II is up for auction.

Far outnumbered by German troops and armaments, McAuliffe’s famous one-word response “Nuts” and his determination to hold his ground at the battle of Bastogne—a key access point in the region—helped the Allies keep the Western Front from the Axis powers during the war.”

When I called to follow up, I didn’t ask the editor if she’d received or read the pitch.

I told her about the 1945 press clipping from the same newspaper about the ceremony where an engraved pitcher from the auction was presented to the war hero.

She was intrigued, interested in the story and said she knew the perfect place for it.

I followed up by sending her the clip and more information on the pitcher.

For more information on publicity, contact Dell Richards at

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