CJ Arlotta on How to Pitch the Media: Partners, Get More Good Headlines

Pitching to the media doesn’t have to be complicated. CJ Arlotta of CJ Media Solutions provides tips for partners.

Allison Francis

July 7, 2020

3 Min Read
Media, TV reporter

Never really known how to pitch the media? Want to know how to earn more coverage in IT channel trade publications? 


CJ Media Solutions’ CJ Arlotta

In a recent Channel Futures webinar (now available on demand), CJ Arlotta of CJ Media Solutions discussed what reporters in the channel are looking for, how they like to be pitched and steps partners can take to increase media exposure.

According to Arlotta, there are three different types of media:

  1. Owned — Simply put, media you own (e.g., company blog, company website). ​

  2. Paid — When you pay a third party for sponsorships or advertising (e.g., a sponsored blog post, display ads, podcast ads).​

  3. Earned media — When a third-party promotes your brand as a result of your own PR or marketing efforts (e.g., news coverage, product reviews, organic traffic). 

While you can pretty much guarantee a positive ad with paid media or build a glowing account with owned media, there is no “guarantee” with earned media. This is where the work comes in. But, when earned media works, the resulting exposure is leaps and bounds more impactful and valuable than any other format. 

Earned media does a few important things. It gets your company noticed and your messaging out there, establishes you as an authority in the business community and increases your company’s awareness in your industry.

Arlotta says that earned media coverage takes time, but that there are a few ways to “train” for it:

Follow Publications in Your Industry

  • Review coverage.

  • Look for potential speaking opportunities (e.g., events, webinars)..

  • Track listings.

  • Identify narratives.

Become a Resource

  • Find out what journalists are working on by regularly checking in with them.

  • Connect journalists with sources they may be interested in interviewing.

  • If you’re not the right person for a story when a journalist reaches out to you, find someone who is.

Maintain Relationships with Journalists

Arlotta stresses that one of the main ways for you to increase your earned media coverage is by pitching story ideas to journalists covering your industry. The “throw spaghetti at a wall and see what sticks” tactic just isn’t effective.

Equally as important is crafting your pitch. Be selective with what you send; just because your piece of news is important to you doesn’t mean it’s important to them.​ Also important to remember is to personalize your pitches, use a strong subject line and get to the point. Ever hear the phrase “less is more”? It’s true. Avoid the urge to fluff. 

How to pitch the media doesn’t have to be complicated or daunting. Take it from a former journalist in the channel.

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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