Media Relations: Ending the Press Release Crutch
When most people think of media relations, they think of press releases. To be sure, writing and distributing them is one of the most important parts of the job. But press releases may be the most overused tool in the media professional's arsenal to the detriment of other tools that might have greater results.
When I worked in broadcast news for ABC News and CNN, the fax machines virtually never stopped. We got press releases by the dozen, and by the end of each day, we had a ream of press releases. They each had something in common. They each went unread.
To break through the clutter, you'd be wise to occasionally skip the press release and send a personalized note to a reporter instead. This works particularly well when offering a reporter an "exclusive," a story that you will only pitch to a single news organization.
Here are three tips to help make sure your letter gets read:
1) Offer an Exclusive -- News is a competitive business. If a reporter likes your story - and is convinced that his or her cross-town rival won't have it - they are much more likely to carry your news. The offer of an exclusive is an effective tool, but should be thought out carefully, since the news organization that doesn't get the story may hold it against you.
2) Conduct Reporter Research -- You may have a brilliant pitch - but if you send it to the wrong reporter, it's useless. Make sure you properly identify the correct reporter for your type of story.
Once you've done that, indicate to the reporter that you've been following his or her work, and that your story is similar or related to another story he or she has recently written. Mention his or her previous articles by name. A shockingly small number of media relations professionals take the time to do this, so the reporter will instantly deem you more credible than the average "PR flack."
3) Subject Line -- Reporters from National Geographic Traveler and People magazines recently told me how critical they consider an e-mail's subject line. A boring subject line means that the e-mail will probably never even get opened!
There are certain things you can do to break through the clutter. I've found it effective to write "Offer of Exclusive" in the subject line, or to include the reporter's name in the subject line, as in "To David - New Research Shows Children Increasingly Illiterate."
But virtually nothing beats a genuinely creative and attention-grabbing headline. I recently saw an e-mail sent by a company that uses clamshells to make jewelry. Their subject line? "Clams aren't just for chowder anymore." You better believe that most reporters were curious enough to open that e-mail!
Brad Phillips is the founder and president of Phillips Media Relations (http://www.PhillipsMediaRelations.com). He was formerly a journalist for ABC News and CNN, and also headed the media relations department for the second largest environmental group in the world.
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
10 Ways to Get the Media to Love You
So you've put yourself "out there" with a public relations campaign. Your dealings with the media now become critical.
Talk Radio Success
You do not have to hire a publicist or advertise through a booking service to promote your books on talk radio. My friend Stephen Schochet and I have been scheduling our own radio appearances for several years.
Youve Done PR the Hard Way Long Enough
As a business, non-profit or association manager, let the tacticians handle the special events, brochures and press releases from now on.You have better things to do.
PR: Lets Cut to the Chase
If your key - that's KEY - outside audiences don't exhibit the kind of behaviors that lead to results like these, you need to take a closer look at your public relations effort.Results like fresh proposals for strategic alliances and joint ventures; rising membership applications, customers starting to make repeat purchases creating bounces in show room visits; prospects starting to do business with you; community leaders beginning to seek you out; new approaches by capital givers and specifying sources, not to mention politicians and legislators viewing you as a key member of the business, non-profit or association communities.
Ill Alert The Media
There is something newsworthy happening at your organization right now. Here are some tips on how to tell your story.
How Managers Hit PR Paydirt
As a business, non-profit or association manager, you'll know it's PR paydirt when you're able to persuade your key external stakeholders to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead to your department, division or subsidiary's success.Proof of the pudding will be outside stakeholder behaviors like increasing repeat purchases, more inquiries about strategic alliances, new specifiers of your components, more membership inquiries, or a jump in capital contributions.
Media Contact Lists and How to Build a Fantastic One
I got the latest issue of Internet Works in the post yesterday and was disappointed to find out that it's going to be the last. As well as having the good taste to run a feature on me last year (!) Internet Works has been a great source of information and ideas for me for the last couple of years and it's demise will leave a gap.
The Increasing Power Of Publicity - And How It Can Benefit Your Business
The call came into my office and the voice on the other end was very energetic, almost giddy: "I have finalized my marketing budget and need your help launching an advertising campaign for my new product," he breathed. "Congratulations," I replied, "but before we implement an ad campaign, I want to make sure you have explored potential PUBLICITY opportunities that could generate some cost-efficient media exposure first.
How To Get Radio-Active PR For Your Non-Profit Cause: Part Two of Three
FIVE WAYS TO GET ON THE RADIOHere are five basic methods of fitting your group into the programming at radio stations:1) Spot messages2) Feature stories3) News4) Interviews5) And becoming a reporter.Here are details on each method.
PR: Behavior Modification Specialist
While awaiting economic recovery, business needs to attract the attention of its most important external audiences in a more targeted and focused way. Primarily to impact the perceptions of those key outsiders so that resulting behaviors help those managers achieve their objectives.
How To Make Time For Public Relations
"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michalangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
Does the PR Blueprint Work?
Managers, please take a minute and read two sentences: People act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done. When we create, change or reinforce that opinion by reaching, persuading and moving-to-desired-action the very people whose behaviors affect the organization the most, the public relations mission is accomplished.
Celebrities Cant Have It Both Ways
Corporations are willing to pay substantial amounts of money to prominent personalities so that consumers will relate the brand with their favorite star, and thus will be more likely to buy the product. The buying public imparts credibility to the celebrity because of his or her charisma as well as the credibility that comes with prominence in the media.
Get Outsiders on Your Side
Especially good advice for business, non-profit and association managers whose job success depends in large part on the behaviors of their key external audiences.I refer to behaviors like inquiries on the increase, new waves of specialized employment applications, more and more followup purchases, new levels of membership queries, a substantial boost in capital donations, or more frequent component specifications by engineering firms.
The Ten Ps of PR
Everyone is talking about the Ps of successful marketing, so I thought it was time that PR had it's own Ps - essentials that will help you maximise your PR activities and results.1.
Managers, Got a Grip on Your PR?
What are you trying to do with your business, non-profit or association public relations program? Get a little publicity for a service or product? Or, perhaps, you're doing what you really should do, persuade your key external stakeholders to your way of thinking, then move them to take actions that lead to the success of your department, division or subsidiary.To reach that objective, and get a real grip on your PR effort, you need a model like this: people act on their own perception of the facts before them, which leads to predictable behaviors about which something can be done.
Driving Near School Buses in Company Vehicles
School BusesWhen approaching a school bus: Slow down; If the amber lights are flashing, the bus is about to stop; If the red lights are flashing, the bus is stopped; In many states it is against the law to pass a school bus with flashing red lights and/or an extended stop arm.Do not upset school bus drivers.
What to Do When the Reporter Calls: Five Tips for New (and not-so-new) Business Owners
New business owners often miss out on publicity opportunities because they think it's a nuisance to talk to reporters. In fact, publicity can be far more valuable than advertising.
TV Reporter Shares the Secrets to Getting Covered on the News
Do you have a great idea for a story, but no clue how to get it in the news? Are you tired of pitching press releases the news media simply ignores?After twenty years of beating the street as a TV reporter, I have a scoop for you: the media needs good stories. But most stories are pitched so poorly, they are lost in the blizzard of faxes that blanket every newsroom.
How Video Production can be used in PR
At the core of any successful public relations campaign is effective communication.Yet in this technological era, there are now more methods than ever to convey important messages to different audiences.
|home | site map|