Today we're going to be talking about pasta, specifically how I landed a story about pasta in a supply chain publication, which may not seem like an obvious outlet for a food story.
I have said this (many) times before, but I don't pitch that much anymore. I have relationships with publications that assign me stories, which saves me a lot of time time – and the frustration of not being able to sell an idea that I know is great. But I heard about this pasta quest on a podcast I listen to while running, and thought it might be a good fit for a regular client.
I also know how much freelancers want to know about pitching – which I get. I put a successful New York Times pitch in both How I Made $135,000 in One Year of Freelancing and Where to Find New Freelance Writing Clients and Turbocharge Your Career. I've shared one in this newsletter too. I had a publication that wanted to run an excerpt from the new ebook – but just that one New York Times pitch, which I turned down because I thought it would misrepresent the book.
But it is an important skill to have, especially when you're starting out and want to break into traditional journalism outlets. So here's a pitch that worked for me. And if you want to learn more about successful pitching, I once again highly recommend Claire Zulkey's Pitches that Worked, which is also available via Gumroad.
Story: "Mission Impastable: An improbable supply chain success story"
Publication: Supply Chain Dive
The Pitch: I have been writing for Supply Chain Dive since 2018, and almost everything I write for the is assigned to me. As you can imagine, we've been pretty busy covering pandemic-related supply chain issues, so most of my work gets into the nitty gritty of why things are borked, and how to fix them. But this story of trying to make a new pasta shape, and the supply chain issues that slowed down that quest, stuck with me. I had also written about some of the issues the pasta shape inventor faced and knew I had the sources who could give insights into why this happened.
If I didn't already know the editors, I might have been more formal, and I certainly would have included a bit about why I was the person to write it. But I didn't need to do all that because they already knew me, and they were more likely to open my email to see what I thought should be on the site.
Here's the pitch:
This may be a bit off the wall for Supply Chain Dive, but I thought it was so interesting and encapsulates a lot of supply chain issues we've been writing about.
The publication assigned it almost immediately. Success! And now I make have to go make some pasta for dinner.