Katie Schutrop in the Minneapolis area used to be trying to connect with the media; now she's more of a media outlet herself, handling the Metromix.com events/social media/traffic/weather site in Minneapolis-St.Paul. On the receiving end of pitches, she reports, "I've noticed that certain best practices I thought were common knowledge throughout the (PR) industry don't always shine through." So what more can her PR colleagues learn from life in the fast lane? Katie advises that:
1. The newsroom really does operate on a last-minute basis. Bear with that, "and don't be afraid to follow-up once or twice (maybe three times, depending on how far out you pitch). And don't take it personally if your story gets scrapped at the last minute..."
2. Personalize your pitch. Address media people by name.
3. Most important details first. Not "Hey - we've got an exciting event coming up See the attached press release for details..." Put the details up front, tightly.
4. Speak the language. Who's your audience? How do they talk among themselves, what are they interested in hearing about?...
...And in general, get to know the media organizations you're dealing with, know the terms they use (broadcast and print), and network to become known yourself.
Also, follow Katie's katie in minneapolis blog. It has lots more insights from a young events coordinator.
And, Lori Turner in Memphis has still more tips on relating well to the media.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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