Our assignment for this week was to create a list of at least 10 ways that PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy and then put what they should do instead! Here we go!
10. Reporters and Journalists being constantly bombarded by e-mails and phone calls from PR people, attempting to get ink for their clients, can lead to a nagging feeling, which only makes a reporter/journalist not want to work with you.
- Instead: Put together professional PR Media Kits and distribute them in an appropriate manner. Don’t hassle or stalk the reporters! Be professional!
9. PR People don’t give enough “proof” to Journalists
- Lack of sources, whether important people, phone numbers, contact info, original news feed, etc… are all ways to be turned down by a Journalist to cover your client. They need a lot of information, so PR people need to bring everything to the table!
8. No one likes to feel obligated to someone else, just because they are presented a uncalled-for/unexpected gift. Sending gimmicks like T-shirts, coasters, discounts/coupons, or any other kind of “freebies”, though a nice gesture, is not always appropriate.
- If you want to send “freebies” to a reporter or journalist AFTER they have worked with you, as a thank you, that can be appropriate sometimes, depending on the situation. However, sending gimmicky items with your PR Media Kit, is essentially a no-no. It can come off like you are trying to buy the reporter into covering your client.
7. Journalist don’t want to be bothered by PR people trying to persuade them, as if they are a telemarketer. “Would you be interested in blah-blah-blah…” doesn’t take one very far!
- Be creative! Make sure you include everything necessary! Here is a Media Kit Release checklist: http://www.printadvertising.com/2006/09/media-kit-checklist.html
6. If you are including pictures or attachments with your release, actually attach them! Journalist need all the important information needed for an article to all come together! No one wants to back-track your paper trail to company websites to find the pix YOU were suppose to have already!
- Always double-check your PR Media kits and emails before sending!!
5. Journalist hate when PR people try to tell them how to do their job–> They went to school too, ya know!
- If you make a professional and creative PR Media Kit, chances are you won’t have to tell any reporter how to do their job, because you will have made it easy for them to write a great story, based on how organized your sources and news feed are. A good story, starts with YOU!
4. Do your research! Nothing is worse than false information or the wrong type of information! Include things like the right sources! List the right contact people! Write in an appropriate format! Mistakes are human, but that’s what proof-reading is for!
- Make yourself a checklist of important things to include. Contact your contacts before you send your media release, so those contacts have a heads-up, in the event that a Journalist covers your client!
3. Don’t pitch a story to a journalist, if you haven’t considered all its angles first.
- Before you pitch a story idea to a journalist, make sure it is newsworthy and is the right story for the information you are providing to the journalist. You need to make sure the information you provide is relevant to your client and issues at hand.
2. Don’t ask, “Why didn’t my story get covered?”
- Journalist are constantly getting emails and phone calls about all sorts of clients and events to write on. You are just another fish in the tank. If your client/topic is not written about by the journalist you seek out- have no fear, it’s probably not you! It’s a hard job as a journalist to find what is truly newsworthy- just because yours was not picked doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad. But, if you want a better chance of being picked- be creative, thorough, on-time, in-depth and double-check your work!
1. If you take the chance of emailing press/media kits to your potential reporter/journalist….for your own sake, make sure you make any other people you are emailing the same press kit to are invisible to the journalist who will open your email. No one likes to see they have competition and no journalist will think fondly of being one of how many other people who received the same story from you, to cover? Exactly.
- Like previously mentioned, make sure all contacts being emailed are entered in the “B.C.C.,” or Blind Carbon Copy section of the email form. This will make it so addresses are blinded from all opening viewers, so it appears the email was sent specifically to them. Sometimes, we gotta be a ‘lil sneaky ;o)