Know the DRILL - how to pitch your story to the media

Peter Klinger 18 Feb 2019
2 mins

Clients – and colleagues – often ask me how I go about pitching ideas, talent and content to media organisations.

I am fortunate in that I have spent more than 20 years in newsrooms in Australia and the UK and I have a strong network of contacts and a detailed appreciation for how news outlets work, what types of stories are likely to gain traction and what deadlines are applicable to different organisations.

But I still go back to one basic premise every time I make a pitch: DRILL

Do you know?

What is your story? Why is it a story? What collateral do you have?

These might seem like simple questions but it’s amazing how many people don’t ask them.

Risk assessment

What’s the risk if the story runs? If it doesn’t? Could it go in an unintended direction? Is your client/talent prepared to face the media?


Have you done your D&R? Assuming you’ve got client/talent approval, it’s now time to ask who you will pitch to, what time and how?


Checking in with reporters requires some nuance but there is no point in sending out a pitch and not following up on it. Equally, you will want to liaise with your client/talent as they go through the interview process.


What went well? What didn’t? What would you do differently next time around?

Pitching is never a one-size-fits-all thing. Different clients/talent and different news outlets require different approaches.

But a basic framework will definitely enhance your chance of success.

Peter Klinger has more than 20 years’ experience in daily journalism and as Cannings Purple’s Director of Media Strategy devised communication strategies for $1 billion worth of corporate transactions involving ASX-listed companies. Contact Peter.

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Peter has extensive media experience across all industry sectors and well-developed media relationships across Australia. A highly-skilled communicator and communications strategist, Peter has a proven track record of devising communication strategies and writing high-quality reports, thought leadership pieces and mission/values statements. In the past year, Peter has devised communication strategies for $1 billion worth of corporate transactions involving ASX-listed companies.

Peter boasts more than 20 years’ experience in daily financial journalism, accrued across titles including The West Australian, The Times (London) and Australian Financial Review.

Peter’s exceptional writing skills allow him to accurately and appropriately capture clients’ needs, whether it be crafting opinion pieces, drafting ASX announcements or preparing and executing a strategic communications plan. As Peter best understands, it takes a finely crafted message to cut through all the noise in the marketplace.

Peter has always had a passion for writing — from keeping holiday diaries to editing his high school journal — so it was a no-brainer for him to pursue a career in journalism that, post-university, began at the century-old daily newspaper, Kalgoorlie Miner. Outside of work and apart from his family, Peter is a member of a multi-premiership winning team of life-long hockey players whose skills seem to improve with every post-match beer.

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