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Perfect Pitch

WHAT IS the perfect pitch? In a summation that could apply to any freelance pitching for work, two serious BBC players, Jo Clinton-Davis, head of factual commissioning, and Adam Kemp, head of commissioning for specialist factual, arts and current affairs, told a recent audience of independent producers that the kind of pitch that gets their attention is short and punchy. It would say: this is the subject, this is why it is important to your audience, this is why it will work and this is my take on it.

As an example, they said they had once put out a call for proposals on the topic of marriage. The pitch that went to the top of the pile - and the one whose originator ended up with the commission - was just five words long: "I've got access to Relate."

Another piece of advice that could apply to all freelances was to steer clear of projects that in-house staff were already capable of handling. "Go for something different," they said.

The NUJ is running further one-day Pitch and Deal courses; the cost to NUJ members is £55 (£85 to non-members). The course on 17 March is full. Details from the NUJ training department at

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