bg
close
close
CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE
Select Industry
CHOOSE CAPABILITIES

How to Be Worth a Journalist’s Time

Public Relations (PR), at its core, is a special type of communication used to gain earned media in broadcast, print and online channels. When professionals are leading the charge, PR is an invaluable component of any full-service agency. At times, it can make or break campaigns and is often the best resource in times of crisis, lending itself to third-party credibility.

Many companies develop their own PR in house, some by typing up random contact lists for journalists at publications they’ve never read and sending out press releases through email blasts. It takes grit to harness the power of persuasion and finesse to win someone over.

To get your news published, you must be worth a journalist’s time. Here are a few pointers when considering taking on the public relations role internally.

1. It’s more time consuming and costly than you’d think. Even a mid-sized company with a 60 +/- employees and a marketing department of less than 5, could spend $75,000 a year in salary, benefits and overhead in a mid-sized market, plus approximately $1,000/mo. in management software such as Cision of Vocus, if done right.

2. Personalize – That means no more email blasts. Each email, letter or fax sent needs to be personalized to the receiving journalist. Get to know their position, what they write about, and take the time to read some of their recent articles to get to know their writing style.

3. Be worthy – If you don’t read their publication, your company probably doesn’t deserve to be in it. When corresponding with journalists, show that you know their publication and understand its value.

4. Know their and your audience – Even though many companies can’t accurately pinpoint their audience’s ethnography, the extra effort will need to be made if you want to do your own PR. Does your audience align with viewers of a particular news program or readers of a particular magazine? How do they consumer it? When? Where? Know where your audience is and take the steps to reach them “where they live.”

5. Foster a good relationship – Ruining a relationship can be easier than you may believe. In some cases, all you have to do is refer to your journalist contact by the wrong name, send them something of non-interest to their audience, fax a news release to the wrong department, misspell a word or pester to see if your release was published – and presto, you may have just lost a contact. Their time is very limited, and they look to seasoned professionals to focus the message, especially since the inundation of social media.

Although the pointers above are not inclusive of all that you’ll encounter, it’s time to move on to “your” story. Even if you have the perfect journalist at the perfect publication, do you have the perfect story? Don’t miss the mark.

News Values:

1. Impact – The facts and events that have the greatest impact on the greatest number of people are, simply, the most noteworthy. Include numbers, indisputable facts and figures in your release. Without a tangible frame of reference for the media’s readership, the context may not be fully recognized by the journalist gatekeeper. They want to write about what their readers want to read. Demand is supply.

2. Timeliness – Events that happen recently are more noteworthy. Newspapers are already competing for readership with electronic media, so know when their deadlines are and work to be in front of them with a timely story, not last week’s news.

3. Proximity – Events that happen near the readers or viewers are generally more interesting. Again, context. The reader or viewer has to see or feel the impact of the release, or it may not be newsworthy.

4. Relevancy –Attempt to find a common thread between your company’s news and a current issue. A little hint is to look in the national publications and find a local angle for your company.

5. Human Interest – Stories that play to human emotions may be noteworthy. Remember to target only those writers who have written human interest stories in the past and follow their style.

Public relations is an investment that can yield significant results, yet is often the first to be cut from a marketing budget and taken “in house”–unhealthy for the organization.

“Hey doctor, … cut right here?”

Related Articles

Posted on October 1st, 2018

Ad Industry, Research, Strategy

Does Your Business Really Need a Marketing Plan?

Defining Marketing Plans and 3 Essentials to Include in Yours Whether you operate a local business with a modest marketing budget or a Fortune 5000 company growing at an unprecedented pace, developing […]

Continue Reading

Posted on October 1st, 2018

Ad Industry, Digital, Leadership

Focus on Feelings: Take Your UX to the Next Level

Enhancing Your UX Through Feelings From websites to apps, user experience (UX) design is a crucial element to any successful online platform. Emotions play a critical role in decision making across all […]

Continue Reading

Posted on September 5th, 2018

Ad Industry, Social Media

Here’s Why You Should Go to Social Fresh

Our Social Media Manager’s Take on Social Fresh If you’re a social media professional reading this, chances are it was emailed to you by a supervisor who felt it was best that […]

Continue Reading

Posted on September 4th, 2018

Ad Industry

5 Leaders Share How They Got Their Start in Advertising

How Evok’s Leaders Started Their Advertising Careers Have you always wondered what it takes to make it in advertising? From the long days that stretch into nights and the cups of coffee […]

Continue Reading

Posted on August 16th, 2018

Ad Industry, Content Creation, Financial Services

4 Great Examples of Lawyers Using Social Media

Building Social Appeal for Your Law Practice In this day and age of political turmoil and career-ruining Twitter posts, it seems like staying offline might be the way to stay out of […]

Continue Reading