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Publicity 101

How many times have you or a pr client tried to contact a customer about an important issuekeeping the press informed only to realize they are out of town? Wasted time? Maybe. More than that is the frustration of not reaching that person.

Now imagine a reporter, editor, or publisher trying to contact you, but you were unavailable. Maybe you were at a trade show, or at a new business meeting, or in a seminar, or just traveling.

At first you would think, hey, they’ll leave a message. Not really. These are reporters who have deadlines to meet. They will pass you up and go to the next person on their list.

How do you avoid loosing the call? Simple, leave a voice message on your phone that says, "if you are a reporter or from the press, please call me at (leave a cell phone number), or leave your number and I’ll call back within a couple of hours.

Make sure that you check your office voice mail messages frequently. And if it is your cell phone that you give to the press, be sure to check that message box often as well.

Being available to the press for a story that you are pitching is extremely important. The media works on their time, not yours. Keeping this in mind should make your pr clients realize that positive publicity can only be accomplished when you make yourself available to the press.

What you should not do is send emails of your schedule to the media. That is a waste of time and the reporters are not your secretaries, so respect them and not bother these media people with nonsense emails.

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Apr 032006

Get familiar with reporters work

It’s been awhile since I sat down and wrote anything, but no excuses but just keeping busy.

With that said let’s move on to some good info.

If you are trying to pitch an article or get some recognition for your company, or a client, it is wise to know something about the reporter you are pitching the article to.

For example you wouldn’t send out a press release about a product without knowing the main features and interesting things it offers the readers. So why would you contact a reporter without knowing his or her writing style or subjects they prefer to write about.

To concur this I saw a blog at Dan Janal’s site that had a comment from John DiPietro who wrote to Dan that "I ALWAYS DID RESEARCH ON THE WRITER PRIOR TO THE INTERVIEW".

This gets you further acquainted with the writer and makes an interview, or pitch easier.

Mr. DiPietro also commented "I always read one of their other pieces, then COMMENTED ON IT TO THEM. This brought me into a more friendly relationship with them."

Reporters like to know that you know their work and will many times be more open to hearing about your company or the story you want to pitch to them.

Now that isn’t the secret to getting a story. This is only a method to help you better get a chance to present the story. The rest is up to how important the story is to their readers; the credible information and how it applies to helping readers improve their business, etc.

So now that you have the story you want to pitch, select a reporter or two, read at least one or two recent articles they wrote and then see if your story fits that reporter’s style and publication. If it does, you’re ready to make the call.

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