How to pitch your business to the media – tips from a business journalist

Learn how to make your PR pitch stand out from the crowd with these top tips and insights from an industry expert

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Specialising in culture, leadership and inclusivity, Orianna Rosa Royle knows a thing or two about the relationship between the startup industry and the media. We sat down with Orianna to ask the question so many entrepreneurs want answered: how can a founder get featured in major publications?

With extensive business journalism experience across other publications including Fortune and Management Today, plus a background as a video journalist and presenter, Orianna has a real pedigree in reporting on startup industry trends and interviewing numerous founders.

In this interview, Orianna shares insights developed from years of meeting entrepreneurs and business leaders. Plus, she gives practical tips to get started with your own pitch to the media.

How can a business or founder go about getting featured in the media?

As a reporter, I obviously get pitched a lot – there are a lot of emails!

But, sometimes a story will just catch my eye, because of a really ‘grabbing’ subject line (think: ‘how I turned over millions this year’, or ‘how I transformed my career’).

Sometimes, I can also be reading a news story online and I’ll see there’s a wider angle there. I can occasionally be reading something and think: that would make a great piece, and so I’ll reach out to the founder or entrepreneur directly.

For founders thinking about pitching directly, are there any top tips for doing it well?

I think it’s important to lead with a personal story – to really figure out why the founder should be interviewed, as opposed to other people in their field or industry.

If there isn't really a new angle, I'm not likely to be interested.

There are so many successful founders and businesses. So the question becomes, what makes you unique? Why is it worth telling your story? Is there anything new here?

If there isn’t really a new angle, I’m not likely to be interested.

Do you have any advice for founders who are struggling to identify their unique aspects or individual voice?

I think it comes back to the business idea, the fundamental reason why the business exists, and who it’s there to serve.

If your business isn’t serving a unique purpose, or fulfilling a specific need for a user or customer, it won’t be successful.

If your business isn’t serving a unique purpose, or fulfilling a specific need for a user or customer, it won’t be successful.

So, for those already running a successful business, it will usually be a case of revisiting what that business is actually about. What makes it different? What makes it unique? And then, you can build your story from there.

Should founders be seeking someone with a similar press story or coverage, and try to reflect a similar style?

I think, in general, comparison truly is the thief of joy. Especially when you’re comparing yourself to really young entrepreneurial stars or influencers.

We know, for example, the average age of a CEO is around 50. So, if you’re just starting out in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s not realistic to compare yourself to hugely popular stars in their 20s, for example.

Instead, focus on yourself. Try not to let your current experiences be devalued by wishing that things were different. Focus on what you have right now, and find the unique aspects to celebrate within that.

Related reading:

Profile headshot of Eloise Skinner, entrepreneur and author
Eloise Skinner

Eloise Skinner is an author, therapist and founder. Her work focuses on meaning, purpose and values, and her newest book is 'But Are You Alive? - How To Design A Life Worth Living'.
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