Pitch Perfect: Attracting the Media

Published on February 7th, 2016

The Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 in San Diego, CA attracted an immense crowd of the sport’s contributors for a schedule of presentations on a wide variety of topics on February 4-6.

Organized by US Sailing, Scuttlebutt Sailing News editor Craig Leweck took part in a session titled ‘Pitch Perfect: Attracting the Media’ which included panelists Dave Reed, Kimball Livingston, Molly Winans, and Bernie Wilson.

With the panel representing various media platforms, an effort was made to describe the kinds of content each was looking for. Here were a few tips that Leweck offered for Scuttlebutt:

• Scuttlebutt focuses primarily on a North American audience that enjoys competitive sailing; editorial decisions seek to deliver that kind of content.

• Scuttlebutt is eager to receive content to share. While this often comes as a result of relationships, unsolicited content is encouraged and frequently clicks all the boxes.

• Getting your content published in Scuttlebutt provides an unfathomable reach that extends well beyond the Scuttlebutt newsletter and website. Your content becomes part of the Internet’s worldwide web of information.

• While other publications may sell their editorial space, don’t ask Scuttlebutt to do the same. All editorial decisions are based purely on the value of the content. Integrity is important at Scuttlebutt.

Here are three general categories of Scuttlebutt content:

Information of Broad Relevance
This category covers a lot of ground but is essentially content that most anyone can gain from. It can be observations and initiatives. It can be profiles of people that have significance. It can be educational and historical topics. This category can reflect well on the provider and also offer benefit to the sport.

Timely Reporting of Prominent Events

The internet has set high expectations which require event reports to be promptly submitted. Once the boats hit the dock, a writer needs to be assembling the facts from the day and submit them with complete results. But events need to have broad relevance too. We can’t be reporting on events that are only relevant to the parents of the participants. This is very subjective and often is impacted by deadlines and available space.

Riveting Photos and Video
This category has no limits. Sailing is a scenic sport and the relevance of the boats or events are secondary to the quality of the imagery. Submitting 8+ photos allows for galleries and short videos fit best into the attention span. The longer the video, the better the production needs to be.

Contact Scuttlebutt editor at editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com

Additional tips can be found here: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/tag/event-communication

PHOTO: Dave Reed (center) suggested a costume theme, and while Kimball (left) and Bernie (right) hedged on the concept, Molly and Craig did their best to oblige.

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