Pitching a TV news story is as old as TV news itself. Interested parties pitch stories to reporters, producers and assignment editors. They in turn pitch the stories to news managers who decide whether to cover the stories. If you want a story covered it is important to pitch it the right way.
Gather all your information first. When you pitch your story you must be able to answer questions about it. At the very least you need to know the who, what, where, when and why of the story. Also have contact names and phone numbers available.
Contact whomever you know with the most influence in the news decision making process. This could be an executive producer, a reporter or an assignment editor. If you have a written media release be sure it is in their hand when you are giving your pitch. Send it in the mail or email it before you call.
Start with the relevance of the story. The most important thing you must convey is that people will care about your story. Try to tie your story to an issue in the news or a subject people in the community are concerned about.
Distinguish your story by telling how it is different than anything that has been done recently. TV news producers like stories that are familiar yet unique. A new angle on a timely issue works well.
Offer easy access to elements needed in a TV news story. Every story requires information, interviews and video. Provide the information. Be sure the interviews are available. Provide video opportunities. The lack of any of these elements will kill your story.
Add an extra incentive. If you want to entice a journalist or have them owe you a favor, offer them an exclusive. Reporters love being the only one with a great story. You can also frighten journalists by telling them everyone else will be there. No station wants to be the only one in town that missed a story.