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How to pitch magazines for beginners – 4 easy steps

How to pitch magazines for beginners – 4 easy steps

How to pitch magazines for beginners


Another topic we brainstorm in Media Bootcamp is how to pitch magazines for beginners (or pitching to all other media, for that matter.

It’s a similar process to how you might come up with regular blog or social media topics.

While older students/communications employees learn varying tactics on this in university/college or even in the workforce, here’s a breakdown for the enthusiastic amongst you who want a simple strategy for coming up with either things to blog about each day or one step further, story options to pitch to media.

Here’s our daily routine in a nutshell – 4 steps

1. Grab the newspaper, current magazine or your favourite daily digital media streams, and scan through over breakfast.

2. Circle/cut out any news or feature stories that catch your attention and that you consider you’d like to ponder some more.

3. Once you’re done tearing out clippings (or saving), place them in front of you and brainstorm (mind-mapping on paper or using a relevant app will help with this exercise) – think about alternative angles (or spin) on a story that’s related to what you’ve captured from your daily scan.

A great example I noted in Australia was presented on Channel Ten’s The Project. It was Australia Day and Aussies are notorious for being ‘big drinkers’. Instead of being mundane and running a common story on the dangers of binge drinking or an interview with an expert who would tell us how bad drinking is for us, The Project team came up with a different angle – they interviewed Australians who don’t drink, and asked them to share what it’s like to be part of a circle of friends who were consistently drinking and who often continued to offer their non-drinking mates alcoholic beverages. They asked the interviewees about why they decided not to drink, and how difficult it is to be a non-drinker in a society that loves alcohol.

This is a perfect example of taking a timely topic/event (i.e. lots of Australians drinking lots and lots of beer on Australia Day) and placing a unique spin on it, and consequently coming up with an interesting media story.

Things to look out for when scanning media, particularly daily media sources, include stories that feature newly released statistics that you could angle an idea around (e.g. “Divorce rate hits 77%”), and stories on topics you have a special interest, understanding or even training in (so you can offer an ‘expert’ angle).

Also, note stories on personalities that may seem like just ‘today’s news’, but that could potentially be pitched with a varying angle to a longer lead magazine (e.g. weekly, monthly). For example, Justin Bieber’s drunken rampages a while back could be extended to a timely pitch on, “What’s making today’s youth crazy?” or, “How to avoid a boyfriend like Bieber” – so many options, and of course it depends on who (what type of media) you are planning to pitch a story idea to.

4. I’ll admit, it’s often hard to identify brilliant story and pitch ideas on your own, so make a habit of catching up with friends, take your clippings along (or have the stories stored in your head), and have a chat about the stories you’ve picked out. You’ll be AMAZED at what brilliant ideas come out of a chat and a laugh with your friends, who will help you come up with timely and unique angles that will make your blog posts shine and turn your media pitches into commissions.

Want more mentoring or a better insight into the career of your dreams? Join us in digital Media Bootcamp and sign up for the mailing list for free advice like this direct to your inbox.

You’re welcome to stay in touch or ask questions – I’m on Facebook, G+ and Twitter, or drop us a line in the comments below.


By Sarah Blinco




Working in media: What should I do with my life?

Working in media: What should I do with my life?

Writing, media, publishing, PR: working in media… what should you worry about when you’re still in high school?


One of the questions we ponder in Media Bootcamp is ‘what should I do’?

It’s hard enough being in school, completing the final years of senior and trying to work out what you want to do with your life, but how do you discover all the options?

Often mentors are not on hand who are able to answer such industry-specific questions – wouldn’t it be nice if they were!

I was chatting to an author friend, J’aimee Brooker, about this yesterday, and we both absolutely wish there’d been someone to help us out with more answers when we were in high school.

Doing my bit to impart some wisdom, this post is with particular reference to students who love things like media, English, even drama and the arts. In school you’re usually only exposed to a few job types:

  • journalist
  • author
  • radio personality

The really obvious ones, but did you know there’s a whole array of wonderful jobs out there where you can use your love of writing and communications?

Let’s try an exercise.

Aside from media, writing or performing, what are you most interested in, or what do you love? E.g. your dog, red carpet fashion, astronomy, music, blogging, technology, movies, travelling?

Write it down on a piece of paper. Now consider, whatever you have written down, there’s a communications role associated with it! If you love your dog – or more widely, animals – you could end up in a communications role with an organisation that protects and campaigns for animals. You might end up managing their magazine or website. Or perhaps you’ll be in their public relations department, or devise advertising campaigns?

For those who perhaps said technology, well, where should we start? There’s a million tech start-ups who need writers and content creators, or you may end up managing their publicity and writing for a related blog! Maybe you’re into presenting and you love radio – you may not land a gig on your local station, but one bigger – a Blog Talk Radio or YouTube sensation!

Of course, there’s the traditional media stream that you may dwell in too, and that’s great – television news, radio presenting, writing for a magazine, newspaper or digital media, or maybe you’ll talk your way into high places as part of a funky PR team.

dream it

The aim of this little spiel is to get you thinking. To get the juices flowing. Don’t get stuck in the mundane or feel like you’re limited, or even that you have to work it all out right now (because you don’t).

Just know there’s awesome opportunities out there where you can combine your talents with your passions in life – keep surrounding yourself the things you enjoy, and it will fall into place.

Working in media – exciting, right?

Want more mentoring or a better insight into the career of your dreams? Join our mailing list or social media communities (links on the right!).

You’re welcome to stay in touch or ask questions about working in media – I’m on Facebook, G+ and Twitter, or drop us a line in the comments below.


By Sarah Blinco