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.

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