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Rena Sarigianopoulos, who has been in the television industry for almost 25 years, has been an anchor and reporter at KARE 11, NBC station in Minneapolis/St. Paul, for the last 14 years. How does a cockroach figure into her worst story pitch?  Read on to find out!

Q:  What is the best pitch you’ve ever received and why?

A:  This one is hard. 24 years later…it’s hard to remember them all. To be honest…most good stories come from people in the community rather than a pitch. Issue topics usually come from the community – like the story we did on homeless youth. The kids that are too old to live in a family shelter but too young to go to an adult shelter. Kids kicked out of their homes for being gay, or who are escaping parents with addiction, or abuse problems. That story came from the community.

A: What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever received and why?

Q: Worst pitches come from people who start off with an email with the wrong name. If you can’t even take the time to change your formula email to my name, it’s getting deleted.

Also, don’t send me useless junk. It’s not going to make me choose your story, I’m going to toss it. You’ve now wasted both your money and your time.

Someone once sent a hissing cockroach as part of a press release. A COCKROACH.

Q: How do you like to be pitched?

A: Email.

Q: If you’re on the fence about a pitch, what pushes you over?

A: If you can tie it to something happening in current events, that might sway my decision.

Q: Is there something you wish public relations people would do more?

A: This one is more for the clients. Hire local PR firms. If I see someone pitching me from New York or LA, I’m less likely to respond. Local people have personal relationships with the people they are pitching and will be more likely to get you the coverage you’re looking for.

Q: What makes someone a good interview in your opinion?

A: Someone who is not nervous on camera, knows their topic, and has three to five points they want to make. Someone who can take complicated subjects and make them easily digestible. Someone who gets the concept of brevity.

Q: Which social media platform do you pay the most attention to?

A:  Twitter. I’m unusual though…I know most people are on Facebook…I just don’t enjoy that medium.

Q:  Where do you get most of your story ideas?

A:  Friends, neighbors and viewers.


Follow Rena at @renaKARE11 on Twitter.