Things to remember when speaking to the media
With followers on Twitter, fans on Facebook and the increase of technology making it easier for the public to tip off reporters, there’s a lot of clutter for public relations professionals to cut through and get their story heard. And since reporters receive too many emails to count, a PR pro’s job is even more difficult.
To successfully pitch a journalist, here are a few things to remember:
- Email pitches are fine, but since we all get a number of emails a day, it’s very easy to miss. So after sending an email pitch, pick up the phone and follow up because chances are the journalist hasn’t seen it yet. Besides, it’s easier for them to delete your email than to hang up on you.
- Identify who you are and who you are representing. Journalists want to know who they are speaking with and what the pitch will be about based on the company that’s calling them.
- Be considerate and ask if it’s a good time for them to speak. It has nothing to do with PR. That’s just having manners.
- Research the reporter. Be sure that the reporter you are pitching actually covers that beat. You can determine that by looking at their past work. If not, you are wasting the journalist’s time and your client’s.
- Determine your angle before calling. It’s better to have a pitch crafted before you call so you can be prepared, and based on your conversation, you can deviate as necessary.
- Be OK with rejection. You will hear journalists say no. It’s nothing personal. It’s just a part of the j-o-b. It’s impossible for them to cover every story they are pitched.
Keeping these tips in mind will help sell your story a little better to the media. They’re human too and want to be treated that way.