Some reporters don’t want anymore than a well written e-mail pitch, but others do. So don’t rule out the personal touch. If they are open to it – invite a reporter out for coffee and get to know them.
If you have never heard of HARO (Help a reporter out) then you owe it yourself to check it out. HARO, created by Peter Shankman, puts reporters and sources together in a very effective way. Once you sign up (for free!), you’ll get daily e-mails with reporters requests for sources and you can reply directly with your pitches. You can also follow HARO on twitter @helpareporter.
Last week I participated in the “How to Pitch a HARO Reporter” conference call featuring reporters from the WSJ, USA Today, AOL News and Crain Business. Here are some of the great tips from the call:
- Most reporters want pitches via e-mail (not via phone and not via twitter).
- Know what the reporter writes about – do your homework before you send the pitch
- Subject line is key – short & sweet indicating what your pitch is about
- “Exclusive” in subject line will get attention – BUT only if it’s truly exclusive!
- Misspellings are annoying – check and double check before hitting the send button.
- Initial pitch should be short, interesting and on target, don’t include attachments. If reporter is interested they’ll come back and ask for more info.
- Use bullet points – why newsy, why now; is your pitch related to a broader trend or related to a current news story?
- If you include a link in your e-mail pitch, make sure you explain what it is; if you can’t explain don’t expect reporter to click on it.
- The traditional press release is not going to get you coverage – usually old news by the time it’s read.
Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with Peter Philips, President of Philips Publishing Group and Publisher of the Pacific Maritime Magazine. We talked about the best ways to get a company in print and he provided some valuable information:
Question – Should a press release be sent out to all publications in general or should the public relations department try to narrow down the distribution?
Peter – “Do your homework. Make sure that your release, email or phone call is directed at the publication’s audience. Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS) is a good place to find editorial and audience profiles for all US publications. SRDS is available online and at most larger public libraries.”
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NPR The Media Made
From The Stewart/Colbert rally to Wikileaks; media personalities were the headlines. Interesting interview with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik
At the recent State of the Media Conference in San Francisco, I had an opportunity to sit down with Peter Philips, President of Philips Publishing Group and Publisher of the Pacific Maritime Magazine. We talked about the best ways to get a company in print and he provided some valuable information:
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