By Andrew Blum*
Editors and other journalists can be a demanding bunch. But with good reason: they are inundated with both PR pitches and internal media issues alike, so they need to make a lot of choices quickly. Your job as the PR person is to get them the best information in the best way possible. When you do that, you help yourself and your clients.
Start out thinking that in today’s digital age, an editor, producer or reporter can almost always be on some kind of deadline. So, if you don’t know them, don’t waste their time with an off-point or fairly cold pitch. If you do know them, use their time judiciously. You know what they are interested in, so stick to that.
Get them your pitch in a concise way. If they follow up and are interested, make sure your executives or clients are available to meet the deadline – either with more information or an interview. If you promise something, deliver or your credibility is shot.
In the how-to department, email is generally best for communication and do not send attachments unless the editor knows they’re coming from you. Obviously if you are deep into a pending interview or request for more information, phone calls work as well.
If you follow these general guidelines, editors, producers and reporters will appreciate it and you may well be on your way to an ongoing news-PR relationship for you and your clients.
*Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms