It's getting harder to catch the attention of reporters by the old techniques -- press releases and phone calls -- now that print media are trimming their staffs or diverting them to the Internet. However, it may not be so hard if you know where to find reporters in their new Web haunts or their old haunts with a Web directory to identify them. Journalists are using the Web as a research tool and appreciate pertinent responses there.
The latter is the confident belief of Joan Stewart, expressed on her The Publicity Hound's Blog. Stewart offers two key pieces of advice: First, don't use the old "spay and pray" technique and then "target a short list of journalists" in their Web surroundings. Reporters' new locales can include blogs they write, Twitter and Facebook postings by journalists, articles they write for their companies' Web sites, and what editors are saying about their staffs in their own columns.
Plus, Stewart cites three free Web services through which reporters seek help on stories -- HelpaReporter.com, PitchRate.com, and Reporter Connection.com -- and a fourth fee-based one, PRLeads.com. (We haven't provided links to these because we'd rather you head to Joan's site for the insights -- and links -- she provides there.)
It may not be that hard to find journalists interested in your subjects, provided you use the same doggedness for which good reporters are known.
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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