It seems like summer just started. But the fall semester is only weeks away – which, for me, is equal parts exciting and depressing. But if there’s anything that can get me out of the funk of realizing summer is dwindling, it’s successfully placing a “back-to-school” story!
In fact, I just pitched my first one of the season this morning. No bites yet, but it was fulfilling just to send it. If July seems early to you, you’re not alone. But now is the time many journalists are starting to look for “back-to-school” trend stories so they have time to do research, conduct interviews and arrange feature photography. Some of what I consider my most successful pitches were “back-to-school” related, and I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I got into the game early.
I’ve also had a lot of luck partnering on pitches with other institutions doing similar things. It’s not always a popular tactic among college and university leaders (and not everyone is willing to play), but it provides stronger evidence of a trend and eliminates some of the upfront work for journalists, which just make them more likely to jump on the story. Sure, you might have to share some of the spotlight in the resulting story, but chances are high you would have had to do that anyway. And this way, at least you get to choose one of the institutions you’re being compared with.
If you’ve got a “back-to-school” trend you need a partner for, let us know and we’re happy to help find a willing participant and make suggestions for reporters we think might be receptive to your idea.