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Publicity: When Calling a Reporter, Keep it Short

When you are planning to call a reporter for the first time, it can help to imagine that you are a phone solicitor (albeit one with terrific, useful ideas).

When phone solicitors call you, you don't want to hear a long explanation of their product. You just want to know the basics so you can make a quick decision and get back to work.

That's why, in a first call or contact with a reporter, keep it short and sweet. Have one or two story ideas - no more - ready to convey.

Don't try what I call the "shotgun approach" - firing away with seven or eight ideas in the hope that one will hit the mark. Would you want a phone solicitor trying to sell you that many products at once? Of course not. It's too much for the person at the other end of the line to absorb and process.

Before you call a reporter, pick your best two story ideas. Take a few minutes to rehearse your explanations of the stories, then make your call. If the reporter isn't interested, don't be discouraged. Thank them politely for their time, and then make a note to call them back in a month with two more story ideas.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit or call 212-243-8383.


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