Rules for Publicity: Do not ask these 7 questions

If you ever want to obtain media coverage, you would be wise to follow the advice below from a PR pro who knows what she is talking about. Since I have been on both sides of this, as a PR pro and a newspaper reporter, I know that this is true. If someone asks questions like these, they are likely to NOT only NOT get any media coverage but will likely be put on a NO FLY list. Busy reporters / editors do not have time with busy deadlines ALWAYS looming on their horizons to deal with people who clearly do NOT know the RULES of the road to PUBLICITY.

Even this dog says NO:

 

As a PR pro who’s been at this a while, I can tell you it’s no secret that there are some things those in our profession do that completely turn reporters off. Yes, reporters can get cranky with us—but sometimes, if we’re honest with ourselves, we deserve it.

While everyone makes mistakes, it’s always better if we can learn from the experience of others so that we might avoid the same missteps.

With that in mind, here are some of the questions reporters DON’T want to hear:

1. Did you get my email?

It’s safe to assume that, unless your message bounced back to you, the reporter did receive your message. So, don’t ask this question. Rather, if you want to follow up, it’s better to phrase it more like, “I’m following up re: X—please let me know should you have any questions or need anything further.”

2. Something came up—can we reschedule our meeting/call?

The answer is – no.

You were lucky to get a meeting in the first place, so the last thing you want to do is to ask to reschedule. Reporters are busy—and their time is extremely valuable—so do whatever you must to make it work. Just make sure your client is there, on time and ready to go.

3. Can we review the story before it goes to print?

Again, no. This isn’t the way PR works.

If you want control over the content, buy an ad. With PR, the story is in the reporter’s hands. If you—or your client—are nervous about what the story might say, remember that journalists are trained to write news pieces and that they have editors to review their work.

4. Will you publish the press release exactly as it reads?

The press release is information you provide so that a reporter can write his or her own story. If they print it verbatim, congratulations—you’ve hit the jackpot. However, this isn’t the norm. You should expect the reporter to write a story based on the information you’ve provided. What the story may say is not up to you (see #3).

5. Can you wait for us to get you that customer reference/product sample/image you requested?

No—no, they can’t. If a reporter has asked for something, drop everything and do your best to get it to him or her—fast.

Media opportunities should take priority over almost anything else you’re doing. In fact, you should be ready to provide what they need before they even ask for it. Anticipate what they may want and prepare it in advance. That way, it’s easy to shoot over that additional piece of information quickly, if it’s requested.

6. Can you use this previously published material?

Generally, no. They want fresh material, especially if you’re writing a contributed article. Don’t try to pass off something that’s already been published, unless you’ve made significant changes—or unless you’ve made it crystal clear that this has already been published elsewhere.

7. Can you get back to me by Tuesday? Otherwise, I’ll assume you’re not interested.

This sounds more like a threat than a deadline—and generally speaking, reporters set the deadlines for us (and their editors set the deadlines for them)—not the other way around. If a reporter is interested, it’s safe to assume he or she will respond when ready. Many times, if they like a story pitch, it will be sooner rather than later. But, it’s important to remember, they set the timeframe.

So, try to avoid asking reporters these questions to get a little further toward building a relationship based on trust and respect with your media contacts. Be the kind of PR pro they look forward to hearing from.

Michelle Messenger Garrett is a public relations consultant, speaker and award-winning writer with more than 20 years of agency, corporate, startup and Silicon Valley experience. She works with clients ranging from small businesses to enterprises such as Adobe and HP, assisting them in crafting and carrying out a PR strategy to help them get the word out, get noticed and increase visibility, prospects and sales.

Tipping off the press

Got a HOT NEWS TIP?  Do you  know what makes reporters/editors cringe when you tell them your tip?   If you are pitching a reporter or editor a story about your book, business, (product or service), then you might want to get on their good side and how to develop a good working relationship. Otherwise, the press/media people will avoid your news tips, press releases and pitches like the plague. And once you get a reputation as a pest, you probably will not be able to recover and Get Published.

PR PRO’s and PR NO’s

Here are five things that reporters hate… take heed:

http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/5-things-reporters-hate-2/

Most of the press releases that come across my desk, make me snore, (boring), wonder why someone is bothering me about something that has NO RELEVANCE whatsoever to anything I write about or am interested in, and/or is missing critical info and I am supposed to do the lazy PR person’s work for them?  If you just send me a link and expect me to click, I probably won’t.  If you expect me to do the thinking for you, I will not. And I am not going to search for the story, either. If the subject line of your email, says press release, I will more than likely delete it without a care in the world.

 

Perfect example of the kind of NONSENSE I receive for my DOG TRAVEL BLOG on a regular basis… she wants to write for my dog blog and to send me an article on job markets, online education, implications for students for a DOG TRAVEL BLOG…maybe this person does not know how to read English… and what is even more insane is that she includes a link to a blog post of MINE… unbelievably crazy.

 

I’m a researcher for a site dedicated to online education. I found your blog celiasue.com/2012/12/07/holiday-gift-guide-for-pets-plus/ during my research and I thought you may be interested in an article I recently published about how the job market is affecting college programs and the implications for students.

Please let me know if you’d be interested in reading this and possibly sharing with your readers. I’d be happy to send it over to you.

Thanks,
Celine James

 

 

Five things reporters love (how to STAND OUT from the press release slush pile)

1. A truly newsworthy and relevant story with credible quotes, stats and information that NO ONE ELSE has (an exclusive) about a topic they write about Know the Correct Format

2. A short pitch with an amusing or entertaining headline and lead that is relevant and could be fun to write about Presentation is Important 

3. A go to PR Pro who knows what they are talking about (not in jargon), is willing to go to the ends of the earth to get me what I want/need and does not waste my time with trivial nonsense

4. A pleasant courteous professional who has clearly read my work and knows what I want in a story and does not try to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge

5. A PR pro who I can count on to provide numerous stories and interviews with clients that deliver over time

And if you are a whistleblower with a HOT LEAK, here’s how to tip off the press… can you twitter away your story???

http://holykaw.alltop.com/how-to-leak-to-the-press-in-a-non-private-world?tu4=1

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