Building solid relationships with the press is the golden
ticket to getting that story published. Here are few tips to help you become a
trusted member of the media:
Be Mindful of Language Blunders
Spelling counts, as does grammar and professionalism. You’re not sending a text to your best friend, your kid or your mom. One of the biggest pet peeves of journalists is misspellings, text abbreviations (“LMK” in lieu of “Let me know,” for example) and incorrect grammar.
These blunders spell laziness in the mind of a journalist.
Take the time to run a spell check; use Grammarly, on online tool that
essentially proofreads your copy and alerts you to errors; and read your
e-mail, press release or document out loud to ensure that it’s properly
structured and flows with ease.
Don’t Pitch the Wrong journalist
You’ve crafted a thoughtfully researched, compelling, error-free pitch and you’re anxious to see the fruits of your labor in print or on a website or blog with a robust, high-traffic readership.
And then you send it off to a journalist who doesn’t
write—and will never write—about the topic at hand. It’s imperative to do your
research, and that means reading a journalist’s work before you press the “send” button or pick up the phone.
There’s nothing that journalists hate more than receiving
useless information. If you’re going to pitch a writer, make sure it’s someone
who covers the relevant subject matter.
More important: Make sure your pitch is newsworthy. Another
tip: read mastheads of magazines, newspapers and digital sites to determine the
beat of their writers.
Avoid Pitching Stories on Weekends
Unless you know for a fact that the reporter is a weekend writer or editor, avoid sending communication on Saturday and Sunday.
Journalists, like the rest of us, have lives, and it’s
important to respect their time off the clock. Weekend pitching has other
pitfalls: If you send an-mail on a Saturday, and it’s read, the journalist may
well have forgotten it by Monday morning. By then, it’s often buried beneath a
deluge of other pitches.
Every reporter and publication has different
deadlines, but according to a Business
Wire Media Blueprint survey of more than 600 members of the media,
Tuesday morning is typically the best time to pitch a story.
Successful public relations is all about relationships.
While securing a story in a prime publication is terrific, building solid relationships with the press is the golden ticket to getting that story published.
Think about it: Journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds,
of story pitches every day, most of them mass-produced pitches that end up in a
laptop’s trash bin, often unread.
To set yourself apart from every Mary, Marty and Michael
that pitches a story, you’ve got to earn and cultivate a trusting relationship
with the journalists that cover your beat and your business. To achieve that
goal, you’ve got to do your research and ensure that you aren’t making mistakes
along the way.
Suffice it to say that every detail matters. Here
are some ideas to consider as you aim to become a trusted member of the media
You’ve prepared and done your homework. You’re a natural in
front of the camera and a designated spokesperson, and you know your subject
inside and out.
All of which begs the question: Why should you worry and
sweat when a member of the media shoves a microphone under your chin and starts
pelting you with questions?
The interview is moving along smoothly. You’re feeling
confident and you’re articulate. You’re using all of the right buzzwords and
your colleagues are watching your interview on TV and congratulating your
shining moment from afar.
Then wham-bam-boom. The interviewer suddenly poses a
question that you want to really, really want to avoid answering. Anything but that question, your brain mutters.
In reality, this scenario happens quite a bit, and it’s all
too easy to falter when an interviewer lobs a question your way that you want
to evade. What to do?
It’s called bridging—and it works.
Rather than answering the question that you’re desperate to
avoid, you strategically pivot the interview to drive home your message.
In essence, you need a “bridge” to pull the conversation
back to the main points that you want to convey. It’s imperative that you stay
on track, remain poised and continue to deliver your key points to your captive
audience—despite the question.
By staying on topic, it allows you to control the
conversation and stick to your agenda.
The key to bridging successfully is always having a pipeline
of phrases and words stored away in your head that ensures that you can pivot
away from the ick-question and steer the interview back to the points that you
want to amplify.
If you need time to
think, give yourself a few seconds by initially responding with “That’s a great
question—one that I think about often,” and then provide a “bridge” statement
that can start with “What’s important to remember…” or “Let’s not forget…”
both of which are transitions that allow you to tailor your answer with
compelling information that effectively articulates your main points and speaks
to your audience. Just remember that everything is on the record and it’s crucial
to tell the truth.
And why’s it important to the success of your business?
There’s a better way to boost brand awareness that doesn’t
involve paid marketing, namely advancing your public relations efforts using
earned media management as part of your key messaging and storytelling
Earned media management is focusing on journalists,
influencers and consumers to promote your brand through word-of-mouth, news
coverage, shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and website comments and
feedback. It’s publicity that’s created by a third party – and it’s free.
And while it’s not rocket science, engagement is key, as is
creating compelling, relevant and informative content for your brand – stories,
posts and tweets that are share-worthy.
And building online relationships with your core audience is
vital, as those are the people who will help you expand your reach.
Between 25 and 40 percent of website traffic and lead generation results from earned media, and consumers, journalists and influencers who share messaging on social networks can potentially reach thousands – even millions – of people.
Increasing the supply of housing stock is the key to making housing affordable to a larger population of homebuyers, according to the lenders who responded to Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey for the fourth quarter of 2018.