I'm always asking people to tell me their stories. But sometimes people pitch things that really aren't stories. Or sometimes people pitch stories without mentioning what is relevant or news, so I thought I'd give a little list on what I look for in a story:
1) What is new? Sure your organization might be great and do great things, but what have you done lately that is new. You can't spell news without new.
2) How does the story you're pitching affect people? Are you a non-profit who helps people? Where are those people, because they're really the story and who I want to speak with when I do the story.
3) Do you have any sources to back up your story? One can say the government is corrupt and that an elected official is a crook, but where are the goods to back it up? People who won't speak on record and generalized comments about people aren't great sources for stories. And editors really don't like nameless sources.
4) Think about who you're pitching the story to. Right now I freelance for community news outlets. Although I'd love to write every story, sometimes I just don't have an outlet. If you really want your story covered think about which outlet you're pitching it too.
So please keep the pitches coming. I'm always looking for story ideas and I hope that the list above gives an idea of what goes through my head when listening to story ideas.