Stumbled across a slightly surprising Tweet from Buzzfeed linking to a ProfNet post with tips to PR people on how to better pitch science stories to, uh, Buzzfeed. At least I think that was the route.
Anyway I can only surmise that Buzzfeed must get a lot of crap pitches to feel the need to elaborate on their requirements, and the tips below in the link are helpful.
As a former sciency writer (not sure I was fully qualified) and healthcare PR guy, I learned the hard way what works and what doesn't. A few tips in addition to those in the article:
- Make sure you're pitching real science, ideally peer reviewed and publishable
- Acknowkedge significant limitations in the data or methodology and avoid unsupported claims
- If medical, find real life case studies to humanise the data
- Science is often easier to communicate visually than verbally. Have some ideas in advance on how it can be illustrated.
Most important, science should be a force for good. Let's be careful out there.
typically don’t cover a single scientific study or breaking science story but focus instead on collections of science stories and facts about a specific topic or theme,” he says. “Creepy animals, weird phenomena, outlandish ideas about humanity, evolution, consciousness, and stories with a strong visual component are always popular.”