Last night, I went to a Meet the Media event here in the Midlands. With journalists from broadcast, print and digital, it was useful and refreshing to hear them knock down some stories pitches that were frankly rubbish, yet build up those with some legs.
They all talked about hooks, so who cares about your company's third birthday...what have you done. If you get funding, don't just send a story on "we got some cash", explain what are you going to do with it.
Become an expert source is one piece of advice that was invaluable, especially as the BBC is now creating a database of experts, so start in your region and you could be called on by national media too.
If you are fighting against other experts, then produce your own content, and be ready to be interviewed. Make sure that you are prepared and you should be asked to be an interviewee again.
Piggybacking is awesome, so spend say five minutes to find out what's in the news and be ready with a press release or comment to send that out quickly, offering an interviewee is also great.
One interesting point was that some media are employing social media journalists, so think social media content when developing a story.
During the event, we got to pitch stories to the journalist panel and they gave feedback, that session was super useful, as they basically helped to turn some stories around and told the pitchers to get to the point as quickly as possible
The event was full of good information, and was organised by a company called BlueBoo PR that sells access to filtered #jounrorequests and the Cision media database at a good rate.