Don’t be pushy

#SillySeasonPR #12

Don't be pushy! #SillySeasonPR

Don’t be pushy

“Come and interview us and we will give you an exclusive story.”

“This is our story and this is the angle.”

“I sent you a press release, but haven’t seen it in your newspaper.”

I’ve heard these a few times lately.

They don’t get you off to a very good start. I jump at the chance of an interesting interview or a good story and I’ve got a good nose for news and can usually tell (but not always).

Give yourself the best chance

Many press releases don’t get published.

This can be because they are:

  • irrelevant to the publication
  • inaccurate
  • an advert disguised as news
  • so poorly written that no one understands it
  • sent too late to meet the deadline
  • just not interesting

There are many reasons why they don’t get published, but don’t let being pushy be one of them.

How can I get my press release considered for publication?

  • Make it relevant – research the publication and tailor it accordingly
  • Check all the facts so that everything you say is correct
  • Don’t sell – tell a real story. Adverts aren’t news
  • Make sure it is well written. Let colleagues or friends read it to check they understand it
  • Send it in good time, especially if timing is essential, eg to publicise an event
  • Make sure it is interesting. Just because you are excited, doesn’t mean other people will be
  • Make yourself useful to journalists – help them do their jobs

If your press release is all of these things, it has a better chance of being considered for publication, but there is still no guarantee.

The editor could suddenly decide to reduce the number of pages in an issue so articles planned for inclusion will have to be left out.

Late news often arrives. A company making a lot of people redundant could take precedence over other news as could a company announcing a lot of new jobs.

However much we plan, we can’t tell what other news is going to come up.

Work with journalists

Journalists aren’t happy when they’ve been working on articles and their space is cut, so you won’t make them any happier by badgering them about including your press release.

The more helpful you are and the better the news you provide, the more likely a journalist will include it or try to give you coverage.

Being pushy will not help.

Your #SillySeasonPR #12 task is to review your press release to make it relevant, interesting and suitable for the publications you are targeting. Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: ? Visit to find out

Use the content and tips in our videos and posts below to boost your business.

 

Offer comment

#SillySeasonPR #11

Offer comment #SillySeasonPR

Offer comment

Journalists and broadcasters are often looking for comment on issues.

On one occasion I contacted three architects and managed to get a comment from one. Guess who was featured in the newspaper along with a photo for a few minutes’ work.

How do I become a recognised authority on my subject?

  • Issue press releases offering genuine comment on a topical issue
  • Build relationships with journalists and let them know you can provide comment on your area
  • Add comment to your web site so that journalists searching online for comment will find you
  • Comment on topics on social media networks
  • Publish your own research and reports on your areas of expertise

You won’t necessarily get asked immediately, but when something does crop up needing a comment, journalists will know to contact you or can find you easily when they search online.

Your #SillySeasonPR #11 task is to think how journalists can discover your expertise. Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: ? Visit to find out

Use the content and tips in our videos and posts below to boost your business.

 

Not all journalists bite

#SillySeasonPR #10

Not all journalists bite #SillySeasonPRNot all journalists bite

Are journalists special? No more special than other people, although some people can be frightened of them.

Should you take care when contacting a journalist? Just as much care as when contacting anyone else.

Should you phone or email them? That’s a good question. Some journalists hate being phoned, especially when they are busy. But wait a minute, do you hate being phoned when you are busy?

Remember too that when journalists want information or comment, they will call you at unearthly hours. In recent months, I have had calls to my mobile at 7am asking if I would take part in a live radio interview later that morning, while one Sunday evening I received a call from a journalist at 6pm. It’s all right to disturb you when they want something.

Ideally, it should be a balanced relationship, not one-sided.

As a business editor, I enjoy phone calls. I have picked up some interesting stories from unsolicited phone calls. If I feel a story is interesting and I am busy, I arrange a call for another day or ask the caller to email me details. I am happy for my phone number and email to be published in the newspaper.

What does annoy me is when people call about or email a story that is not at all relevant to my area of interest. I usually forgive business owners, especially those without much experience of PR, but get angry with PR professionals who ought to know better and should research their target audience more thoroughly. After all, the client is paying them for their expertise.

Also, just like everyone else, I don’t like being pestered.

Not every journalist thinks the same, so it is worthwhile checking out to see if journalists you are targeting have a preferred method of contact. Some will say, others won’t. Often, a brief email with your story ‘pitch’ can work better than a phone call, but who can tell? Some publications and journalists openly publish their phone numbers, so why not call them?

What’s the best way of contacting a journalist? There is no simple answer. However you choose to contact a journalist, be brief, explain your story clearly and accept that they might not be tempted to cover it.

What I can say is that this particular animal does not bite.

Your #SillySeasonPR #10 task is to think how best to contact journalists with your story. Good luck and do ask any questions you have.

Tomorrow: ? Visit to find out

Use the content and tips in our videos and posts below to boost your business.

 

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