How to Strike the Perfect Pitch

OnLine Newsletter: Summer 2018

You are in the middle of writing a feature when it hits you: This story has mass appeal.

Some stories are strictly local. With more than 50 Ruralite, Florida Currents and Currents editions each month, sharing faces and places close to home is a core utility-page strength. But sometimes a subject crosses those borders.

“There’s always a need for rural stories with mass appeal,” says Ruralite Assistant Editor Jennifer Brown. 

The editorial team stays on the lookout for topics that readers across each magazine’s coverage area would enjoy. However, many potentially great stories never reach the team.

“I follow a lot of utilities on Facebook,” says Jennifer. “That’s where I heard about an Oregon farm raising sheep to produce wool for Olympic uniforms. That was a great story for us. I just happened to see it online.”

Recent stories with crossover potential include organ donation organizers, search and rescue volunteers and communities protecting bees. 


Think in Themes

Want to pitch a story for a magazine’s shared pages? A good idea might not be enough. Ruralite’s editors are looking for ideas that support and strengthen each other. The team is moving toward a theme-based approach for each issue.

“We are working on connecting the Voice Box subject to Power Lines, Side Roads and the main feature topic, when possible,” says Jennifer. “The editors want to strengthen all of our stories with focused themes.”

Future themes include:

  • Contra dancing (in Ruralite, not Florida Currents)
  • Lineworkers’ spouses and the roles they play
  • Focus on veterans


Answer Five Questions When You Pitch

Think your story idea is one for the masses? Before you put pen to paper, pitch your idea to Ruralite. Answer these five questions: 

  1. How does the topicappeal to a broader audience?
  2. How will it grabreaders’ attention?
  3. How timely is the topic?
  4. What utility servesthe story subject?
  5. What state(s) are impacted by the story subject? 

Ready? Set? Pitch!

Send your crowd-pleasing story idea to your editor, or email 

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