Working With The Press

What to do to make it right with the media

Editorial is "priceless". That’s what we are told in the publicity industry.

But how do you get publicity for clients, or for yourself. You need to understand what the media want and what they don’t want.

Too many times, eager pr people are trying to sell their idea and forget to put in perspective what their job really is.

It is to make the reporter, publisher, or editor’s job easier by supplying compelling information about a product or service that their readers will enjoy (benefit from).

One of the things to do is attend your industry’s trade shows. If you can only afford to attend one, or two, select the ones that will make the most impact.

Then do your homework. Just like knowing the buyers of that industry, you should know the media. Know about each publication that interests you, making sure these are the right fit for your company.

Then put together a press kit. The kit should contain a fact sheet, a bio on key personnel, and several releases. If possible, include a company brochure or a product brochure. Don’t put a catalog in the kit. Too much sales information will only get your press kit tossed out!

Assemble information that can be worthwhile to a reporter. Such as industry trends, statistics on your product and how it compares to competitors, new technology, techniques and useful advice. Whenever possible attach a letter, or fact sheet from the CEO, or president of the company describing the outlook of your industry…not your company’s outlook, but the industry.

If you schedule it correctly, invite several press in your booth, or at designated room to hold a small press conference. Make sure you have something worthy to say, or it will haunt you forever.

Also, never assume the reporters know about you, or your industry. I don’t mean that you bring the level of conversation to a 3rd grade. But if the media is diverse in your market, give them some credit, but don’t make them feel foolish by using a lot of abbreviated terms that only you or the "in" people of the industry use.

Last point. The reporter you talk to today just might be that publisher or editor tomorrow at a major publication. So treat all the media with high respect and it will pay off.

See Also

What To Write About

Make the story interesting and meaningful

Publicity firms are always asked by their clients to "write something about our company that is great!"

To do this you need to make sure what you are going to write is going to have credible information to that publication’s readers. Just because you or your client feels the information is valid, think of whom you are going to pitch the story to. Go through a list of questions:
1- How important is this information to the readers of XYZ publication
2- Does this offer anything that can help or enhance a readers knowledge to improve their life, business, etc?
3- Am I only writing this to get people interested in the product or service? If so, re-think this and re-write it to be lees self-serving.
4- How timely is this information?

These are but a few points to consider when you need to "get the word out" for a client or if you are a company doing pr internally, then re-think your story or release.

The worst thing you can do is submitting non-informative information in the form of a press release or story to reporters, because the industry hears this type of communication. It can cause a negative effect on you, the company you work for and can cause future releases to be less considered when you get this type of reputation.

Make the words count, in more ways than in numbers. It is up to you to put aside the "sell" and write for the good of the potential readers of a publication.

That will position you higher on the list with reporters.

See Also

Know the Media

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.

See Also