Image by Thomas Lefebvre, courtesy of Unsplash

How to Pitch: HackPack Edition

As a journalist, it can be hard enough to get someone else to listen to the story you’re working on. It turns into a science when that someone can only be reached through an inbox, has a dozen other suggestions a day, and has most likely never met you in person.

HackPack’s Pitch category was designed as a workaround to this problem. Editors are busy, and although you may have 700 words on why your story needs to be read, they don’t have the 10 minutes it would take them to read it. They also are less likely to trust a freelancer if they haven’t worked with them before.

HackPack’s Pitch List means that you can get your stories across, in minimal time, to as many editors as possible. For editors, it means you don’t have to wait for stories to come to you — browse our lists of story ideas from our verified journalists worldwide, click on their profile and get in touch.

(Additionally, if we find your pitch particularly good, we’ll promote you and your pitch directly on our social media, reaching thousands of journalists and editors worldwide.)

The Art Of The Pitch

Twitter was based on the idea that less means more. HackPack’s limit of 140 characters means you need to get to your point, fast.

To help you craft your perfect pitch in under 140 characters, focus on at least three of the four W’s.

Who.
What.
Where.

Who is your story about? It can be a person, a population, an animal, an organization. What is going on in the story? The central thing you need to be able to show is that there is some action; either from an ongoing conflict or continuing news story, or something new entirely. Where will be you be? Don’t just say you’re covering the opioid crisis — is it in Alaska, Zanzibar, Iran or the UK?

At the end of reading your own pitch, you shouldn’t be able to tell what the entire story is about. You should just want to click on it to find out more.

Good Sample Pitches

Some of our favourite recent pitches, to give you concrete examples.

Assembly Instructions

If this all sounds good, here’s how to do it.

Step One: From the feed page, go to ‘Create Post’.

Step Two: Select ‘Story Pitches’

Step Three: Write your pitch and publish!