“I think you have to look at your story and say, ‘Is this an extraordinary story?’ Is it about an individual that’s done an extraordinary thing, or is it a situation that is so unique that it’s compelling?”
Most important, the pitch has to hit an emotional note.
“We do stories about societal trends, but we do it through the individual. So if it’s about education or health or family, there has to be compelling individuals in the case.”
Note the word compelling. If you can’t convince other media to cover the story, don’t even think about trying to get it into People.