At yesterday’s Washington Women in Public Relations the program was a Media Roundtable discussion, with social networking, print and broadcast media represented. What came out of the discussion was a great list of do’s and don’ts! Some we may have known and have been using along, others we may have forgotten and some are so new as the channels are ever changing. Here’s a list:
- Spelling counts and so do the details – when you send emails make sure you have the person’s name spelled correctly as well as to make sure that person still works there! Stay current.
- Think about the story and the pitch before the call. How is this story valuable to this particular media outlet?
- Do your homework before you pitch the story! Know your media outlet and be prepared! Is this a more feature oriented publication or a news broadcast that target local news? Is this time sensitive?
- Know the news! Is this a timely story or event or something that was hot last month but not currently
- Bloggers do want to hear from you, but learn their areas of coverage, interest and passion before pitching a story.
- Recognize social media as an outlet!
- Yes traditional press releases are still a great way to communicate, but keep it short and keep it simple.
- Close the deal – make sure the reporter knows why this story is of interest to them and their audience.
- Use the local newspapers – often they are more interested in your pitch.
- Embargoed press releases aren’t dead!
- Don’t fax! It will just be lost in the clutter. Email is the way to go.
- Don’t over write! No three and four page releases – they won’t get read
- Don’t forget to send a release when you have a new client, who might be an expert the news media can call on.
- Don’t forget to update the media list. No one likes to get releases or publications addressed to someone who hasn’t worked there in years.
- Don’t forget to pitch to the reporter.
- Don’t be too familiar
- Don’t over communicate
- Don’t leave the pitch to an untrained staff member
- Don’t forget to review the website or blog before the pitch.
- Don’t forget – PR people help the media do their job!