Continued from page 1
MAKE REPORTERS LOOK GOOD BY GIVING THEM REAL NEWS: In pitching media, your general approach in summer is not a lot different than a media relations campaign rolled out at other times of year.
You need a strong media release tailored to needs of specific news organization. Backgrounders, briefs or point-form fact sheets are useful if your story is complex. You have to be available for interviews, cooperative with helpful information and ready to answer easy and hard questions related to your story.
A specific difference, however, is finding out who should hear your pitch. Presuming regular reporter covering your sector is away, you should find out who fill-in journalist is. Whether or not reporter is " green," you need to cultivate a professional relationship based on an honest exchange of news and information. The more you understand what they need for an article, more likely you will find your name in news.
There are some drawbacks to summertime news, though. There is less news consumption – readership drops for publications and fewer people watch evening news. So a news story in summer may not reach as deeply into your target markets. Also, while it is easier to pitch a story to a green reporter, chance for error is greater. New journalists make mistakes as they learn and you might be lesson.
But your summer news story will live on in computer archives and searchable databases. Depending on its news merits, your story may be followed by other media well into busier fall period. Also, your summer news hit cost a lot less than display advertising and earned you a lot more credibility.
Scan your organization for news and get your PR machinery moving to place some valuable summertime stories.
Ian Edwards is a senior consultant with Verus Public Relations (http://www.verus.com) and Reputations Inc. (http://www.reputations.com). A specialist in getting clients in the news, he has a special summer PR package to introduce organizations to the promotional power of the media.