How to pitch KCRW

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Have you pitched KCRW? Do you want to? We’re about to tell you some of the best ways to go about it.

We recently hosted our first pitch panel, where eight independent producers presented ideas to a panel of KCRW editors and producers. We heard from print reporters and radio producers who pitched radio features to our news programs, as well as UnFictional, Press Play, Good Food and DnA. Our staff had feedback for every pitch and here are a few of the big takeaways that everyone can use when pitching KCRW.  

  1. If you’re pitching UnFictional, hone in on your best characters. Strongly defined characters are important in any radio story but especially for our podcast UnFictional. If you’ve got a topic, theme or news peg in mind, think about how you can tell that story through the lens of one person, family or business. The story should have momentum so you’ll need scenes and surprising moments to move it along. Pro tip: Weird, unlikely topics are strongly encouraged!
  2. Investigating something? Make sure you know how you’ll get your audience concrete answers. Think in terms of stats, facts and data. Tell us your hypothesis and then tell us where you’ll go to find the evidence.
  3. Do you want your feature to air on Morning Edition or All Things Considered? Look for angles that advance existing news threads. Be sure to double-check what stories on this topic have already been told. What makes your pitch newsworthy? Focus on the action or change agent. Where’s the impact? What about the story is forward-looking? Help the audience see something new play out in real time. You might also want to challenge yourself when it comes to sources: Strive to talk to the most unlikely perspective.
  4. If you want to pitch a series, make sure there’s enough context and new material to sustain multiple features. Series are a harder sell, especially if you’ve never worked with KCRW before. Be sure to have an outline for how each episode will unfold. What’s the through line among the features? What makes each feature in the series different from the last? What will motivate the audience to keep listening?
  5. Do you have a personal connection to the story? Include that in your pitch! Tell us why you’re best suited to tell this story. Your own point of view or life experiences can add an unexpected and compelling element to the story. Audio listening is an intimate experience; leverage the medium as a producer whenever you can.  

And remember, you can always get in touch and pitch us ideas via this form on our website.

(Photo: Neromar/CC)