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Category Archives: Journalism

24

Got Data? It’s Time to Get Yourself a Silk

By now, you likely know how valuable data can be; if not, I recommend you start with Beth Monaghan’s post on data journalism. Data can help establish your company’s thought leadership platform, root your point of view in authority, demonstrate new trends on the horizon or that old trends are, well, old. If your company has data (whether it’s your own or commissioned by a research firm), it can be valuable in more ways than just helping you make critical business decisions.

The challenge with data is figuring how best to analyze and share with your target audiences. The truth is, with rich data, the possibilities can be endless. Campaigns that present valuable insights can not only benefit your bottom line, but can also help your customers, partners and the broader industry. That’s why I got so excited when I came across Silk, a Web app that helps you collect, sort and view information you need – without making you comb through the data yourself. You can organize, publish and share data publicly (for free) or privately (for a membership fee). Each Silk contains data on a specific topic; for example, it should come as no surprise that there is a Silk on Ebola outbreaks.

How it works

Getting started can be as easy as uploading an Excel file, which is then turned into an interactive site that lets users engage and interact with your data. You can even embed your data “visualizations” across the Web – on your website, blog, Tumblr, etc.

If you aren’t ready to use Silk for your own data, you can use it to sort through data from other sites. A few good examples of sites include Wikipedia, IMDB and CrunchBase, all which provide a lot of data about specific topics. Silk allows you to drill down to find the information you need without extensive searching and comparing.

From a PR perspective, a new data-sharing tool like this is very exciting. There are numerous ways to integrate it into your PR/marketing program, such as creating a Silk as a component of a market research campaign, identifying new trends or content and finding data that complements existing collateral (e.g., infographics).

We all know how valuable data can be. And we all know how daunting the task of collecting and sorting through that data can seem. But, with tools like Silk that allow you to experiment with the vast data out there, there is really no reason to not at least give it a try.

Read more from Kristin Parran Faulder
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9 Ways to Prepare for the Unprepared Reporter

Last week in interview between a C-level executive of a Fortune 500 and a reporter at a major daily newspaper, the reporter got on the phone and started out by saying, “Remind me what we are talking about today.”

Cringe. PR person summarizes subject to be discussed. Exec acts polite and pretends to roll with it. Reporters asks spontaneous stream of questions. Call ends. Exec yells at in-house communications manager. Client yells at InkHouse. All asking the same thing:

 “How could THIS happen?”

THIS… after multiple conversations, emails and background materials exchanged between the reporter and the PR person.

But the truth is, THIS happens more and more everyday. As reporters are crunched for time, they often enter interviews without having done much, if any, prep. This is especially true when the PR person suggested the story topic and pitched the interview (versus the reporter coming to you with a story idea in mind). Obviously the subject interested the reporter in the first place or he wouldn’t have taken the interview. But as a PR professional, you can’t count on that meaning that the reporter will have everything in front of him  or her for the interview.

Most PR people jump through hoops to make sure the reporter is vetted, is given all the background (usually in long form and in bullets to make it easier), and to confirm the time and subject matter of the interview.

Yet, despite all this preparation, you should be ready if a reporter seems unprepared. It is just the reality of today’s fast-paced news cycles and reporters who are often stretched too thin.

So how do you prepare for the unprepared reporter?

  1. Expect the reporter to know nothing. Ask him upfront if he had a chance to look at the background that was sent. If not, use the opportunity to open up the conversation and message the news in the way you see fit.
  2. Stay calm, don’t show you’re annoyed… but also don’t be a pushover. This is your chance to take the lead.
  3. Be careful not to mistake a reporter’s silence for unpreparedness. Sometimes silence is the way reporters get you to over-answer questions – especially tough ones. Don’t feel the need to fill the silence. Answer the reporter’s questions and move on.
  4. If the reporter goes off topic, politely steer him back to the intended subject matter. Use segues such as, “Today we’re together to talk about X…” and get back on track.
  5. Similarly if the reporter is asking irrelevant questions, reframe the question in the right direction with transitions such as, “I think a better question is…” or “What’s relevant here is….”
  6. Don’t answer questions based on a flawed premise. For example, if the reporter asks a question that has inaccurate information baked in, politely point it out and don’t answer the question. The same goes for speculative questions based on an idea you are unfamiliar with (e.g. “I hear Google is thinking of entering your space. How do you feel about that?”) This is an important rule of thumb in all interviews, but especially in cases where reporters have not had a chance to do any prep.
  7. After the interview concludes, send the reporter a thank you and follow-up note summarizing the key points of the conversation and also ensure that he has your materials. You’d be surprised how many times reporters will use it.
  8. Don’t go back afterwards and ask your PR team to pull the story. If you move forward with the interview, expect the story to appear. If the interview is going wildly off track, politely end the call. Note, however, that this should only be done in the most extreme circumstances.
  9. Once the story appears, make sure it is on track. If not, you can request the corrections – but only to the facts. Don’t expect a reporter to change tone or opinions – and asking for those kinds of changes can hurt your relationship with the reporter (and the publication) down the road.

Remember it is the job of the spokesperson – along with the PR team – to tell your story in the interview. Don’t let an unprepared reporter keep you from missing the opportunity!

Read more from Meg O'Leary
35

Top Five Reasons In-Person Relationship Building Meetings Still Count

Your client wants an in-person meeting in NYC next month with a business reporter covering their industry and pressure is on to book it. There is no breaking news or hard news associated with the meeting. There are some pretty good reasons we don’t do as many in-person meetings these days: reporters are just too busy and charged with writing too many stories a day to take 45 minutes to an hour out of their day and meet when they could do a phone interview and be done with the interview in 20 minutes.

Although not as common and easy to book these days, there is still a real value in establishing a relationship with a reporter and making a connection in person. I recently sat down with ABC News business reporter Richard Davies and got his take on why coffee meetings still matter and how to make these meetings more effective.

1 –Have something interesting to bring to the table: You need to have something compelling to say during the meeting. Davies recounts a story of how he recently met with an executive from a large automotive company, and the meeting lacked substance as the spokesperson didn’t have anything new to say about the industry and couldn’t discuss any big picture trends. This is a lost opportunity and a waste of time for everyone involved.

2-Quality vs. quantity: “I didn’t get into journalism to crank out stories as quickly as possible. I got into this industry to write quality pieces,” Davies stated. “If I can have a meaningful conversation with a person for one hour that can eventually lead to a story down the line, this is extremely valuable to me.”

3-In-person meetings spark excitement and ideas:  Davies explains that he gets 20 pitches by email a day and that doesn’t include story suggestions from his news team or phone calls. If he can have a meeting with an interesting person who is quotable, helpful and an expert in their industry, this naturally benefits him. “No question that sitting across the table from a person is going to foster more creativity and conversation.”

4-PR people need to get it too: Davies says a pet peeve is when PR people don’t play by the rules and just expect him to meet with their client when they haven’t properly researched his work and do not have a refreshing news hook or trend to discuss. He says that it is refreshing indeed to hear from a PR person who has done his or her homework and is comfortable talking to him on the phone about why the meeting would be beneficial.

5-Be patient: By building a relationship and establishing credibility as a spokesperson, you are going a long way toward eventually seeing a story placement. It may take months, but if the meeting was productive, coverage will eventually happen.

So next time a face-to-face meeting is on the table, don’t sweat it and pick up the phone and pitch a trend, not a product or service. Make sure you are quotable in person and remember that the purpose of the meeting is not coverage today, but building a relationship over time that will eventually lead to ink.

 

Read more from Elizabeth Yekhtikian
42

August PR Takeaways

Ah, August—the month where people try to grasp onto that fleeting summer feeling with their last chance at vacation time. But with everyone from Obama to your coworker grabbing their beach towels and high-tailing it out of the office, it can put the brakes on any business momentum. And with a ghost town of an office and newsroom, there are a few adjustments you should make to your marketing and communications strategy.

Here are a few August PR takeaways to make the most out of a typically sluggish time of year:

  • Avoid product news: If reporters are busy working on their tans, they certainly won’t be busy reviewing your product demo or service upgrade. Forgo the inbox full of out-of-office replies and push for a later launch.
  • Rely on contributed content: Just because August can be a slow news month, does not mean you can’t place any content of your own in the media. Comment on industry trends, forecast thoughts on the upcoming holiday season or repurpose an old blog post or case study.
  • Set up introductory interviews: For the reporters that are in the office, take advantage of their availability and offer introductory or background meetings. Begin the process of relationship building so that when the craziness of the holiday season starts, they have you on their contact list for commentary. As my colleague Kristen Raymaakers notes, building a relationship with a reporter helps you gain traction in media coverage with them in the future.
  • Monitor Twitter for vacationing media: But in order to arrange these relationship building sessions, how do you know which reporters are even around or not? Check in on their social channels to see if they are tweeting out pics of palm trees or asking for input on upcoming Google news.

After reflecting on the leisurely month of August, now is the time to start revving your engines for the fall months—or use the dwindling time to head to the beach yourself!


Read more from Zoe Nageotte
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Expected Buzzfeed App Indicates Company’s Aim to Move beyond Kittens & Quizzes

I say Buzzfeed, you say…

Amazing photo montages of baby animals?

Lists providing tips for incorporating sriracha sauce into every meal?

How about up-to-the-minute source for hard news?

Buzzfeed originally built its reputation as the go-to site for all things outrageous and adorable. The site’s popularity is undisputed. In 2013, the company reported that the site had received more than 130 million unique visitors during the month of November. Subject matter runs the gamut – as I’m writing this, Helen Mirren, feminist tattoos and drivers’ licenses from New Zealand are all prominently featured on the site’s homepage – and content is updated frequently throughout the day.

But it seems as if Buzzfeed is looking to grow up a bit, so to speak. Last week, Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith announced that the company is in the beginning stages of building a second app that will focus entirely on serious news. This announcement is the latest in a series of gradual moves by Buzzfeed to incorporate more thoughtful journalism into the site’s offerings while staying true to its lighter roots. Over the past year, Buzzfeed has begun to feature more substantive news stories in addition to long-form human interest pieces.

Buzzfeed will likely face a few hurdles in getting its devotees and new visitors to broaden their perception of what type of content the outlet has to offer. What Buzzfeed does have going for it is a built-in audience of millions, the majority of whom already view its content on their mobile devices. In fact, 78 percent of smartphone owners reported having used their phones to access news at least once in the past week, according to a survey by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Buzzfeed’s investment in developing this app is illustrative of the ever-changing landscape of media consumption today – when we’ve seen the quick rise in prominence of and visits to media outlets such as Slate, Salon and Ezra Klein’s Vox.com. While more traditional news outlets still have loyal subscribers and in many cases remain a highly trusted source of hard news, the Media Insight Project also found the majority of Americans across generations now rely on a mix of sources and technologies to get their news each week. Additionally, findings indicated that where people go for news actually depends on what topic they’re looking to learn more about – be it sports, weather, domestic politics or global affairs. And Americans remain avid consumers of news in the digital age. A study that we conducted in partnership with GMI Lightspeed this year found that 60 percent of Americans watch or read 3 to 10 news stories every day. These findings suggest that there is certainly still room for Buzzfeed to carve out a space for itself within the realm of more serious reporting.

There isn’t yet a predicted release date for Buzzfeed’s new app. But while you’re waiting – take a look at this little boy and his French bulldog friend.

Read more from Emily Barge
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Why you should be reading (and writing for) Medium

The history of the internet is as much about the evolution of new platforms for self-expression as it about search or e-commerce. From the earliest WordPress blogs, to Facebook, to Twitter and Tumblr, the internet is constantly changing the way we compose, share and discover new content. Perhaps no site has had more influence on the way we write than Twitter, which taught us that thoughts must be 140 characters or less, turned the @ symbol into a beacon and the hashtag into a trend (and meme.)

As the founder of both Blogger and Twitter, Evan “Ev” Williams is directly responsible for much of this evolution, as this New York Times feature lays out. His latest venture, Medium, a blogging and content sharing platform launched in 2012, is yet another foray into reshaping content creation. At two years old Medium is fast winning fans amongst professional and lay writers alike – not to mention tech industry super stars like Elon Musk. Musk’s decision to use Medium to announce a new Tesla Model S feature even prompted TechCrunch to ask “Is the company blog dead?”

As news outlets debate the merits of contributed content, Medium is decidedly democratic – a place where anyone can share their thoughts, stories or opinions. It’s (as Williams puts it): “a level playing field that encourages ideas that come from anywhere.” And that playing field now gets over 13 MILLION unique visitors a month (according the New York Times).

So, what’s fueling Medium’s growth?

First off, it’s pretty. Check out this very blog post on Medium (how meta). I’m no blogging genius and far from a designer, laying out this post is designed to be incredibly intuitive. Medium’s bold and simple layout means that it does not take a user experience designer to publish a professional story.

It makes sharing easy. Medium combines “algorithmic and editorial curation,” to share posts with other readers based on topic interest and engagement. This means that it’s not just name recognition that gets you eyeballs, but the merit of the content within. Much as a tweet can go viral, so too can a Medium post. While Twitter lets you see what’s trending in real time, Medium offers a list of the recent top 100 posts. June’s top stories reveal the breadth of writing experience on display: an entrepreneur’s tale of her company’s failure ranks just ahead of a freelance New York Times Magazine writer’s examination of Britney Spears as feminist icon.

It’s getting serious.  As more journalists, freelance writers and want-to-be’s flock to Medium, the site is making its own transition towards more traditional media. In June, Medium announced they’d hired Steven Levy, a former senior writer for Wired and chief technology writer and senior editor at Newsweek, as the editor in chief of their new technology site. Naturally, Levy took to Medium to share the news himself:

“One of the things that I love about Medium is its commitment to experimentation, one that I fully embrace. So a precise description of what this new venture is going to eventually become is gleefully elusive. But I can tell you this—it will feature not only my own best writing but the work of contributors who share my belief in deeply reported, colorfully rendered stories in and around the tech explosion. We will also draw on some of the amazing contributions that are already flowing into Medium—not only professional writers but also smart people chiming in spontaneously—and bring in outside voices of authority who will express their concerns, share their thoughts, and generally provoke our readers.”

So, what does this news mean for you? While the exact shape of this new venture should become clearer in the coming months, right now entrepreneurs and thought leaders have a huge opportunity to get in front of Medium’s growing technology audience by publishing their news, ideas and opinions on the platform. What are you waiting for?

Read more from Lee Glandorf
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PR Newswire Takes a Stand Against Bad Content

In our world, content is king. It’s our currency, our bread and butter. That’s why we’re constantly talking about the importance of good content. Perhaps a consequence of extreme availability and numerous channels for sharing, there is so much content out there that it isn’t always quality. In any case, individuals and businesses have endless means of sharing their point of view – tweets and other social posts, blogs, press releases, bylined articles and visual/video assets. It’s inevitable that some content will sneak into your Twitter feed or email and it’ll be a waste of your time to read, view or watch.

InkHouse Principal Beth Monaghan recently shared her opinion on bad content through sharing the news that Gigaom changed its policy on guests posts. She said, “The problem and the opportunity is that there are so many places to offer these great ideas that more people are getting into the game. Content draws eyeballs, which can create leads so we have lots of content in search of stardom through native advertising, guest posts, Op-Eds, Medium, LinkedIn Publishing and more.”

Like Gigaom, PR Newswire is also taking a stand against bad content. Last week, the newswire revealed its updated guidelines for which content will be reviewed prior to distribution. What are they looking for? Insightful analysis, original information, minimal and appropriate link usage and the table stakes (release length and format). And what can you do to make sure you comply with these guidelines? Please note – whether you use PR Newswire or another release distribution service, this advice reigns true for all. Follow these tips to ensure you’re part of the quality content movement.

When putting out a news release, consider what it is you’re really saying – is it newsworthy? Is it timely and/or something that will be beneficial for your customers, partners, employees and target media to take the time to read, react to and possibly share? If you start with that question, the rest will fall into place. A few tips to follow once you’ve deemed your announcement worthy of consumption:

  • Tell a story. Make it easy for all readers to put together what you’re saying – what the news is, why it’s important and what it means. The facts alone do not make a story.
  • Strategically place links in releases, i.e. to company homepages, product pages, recent reports and blog posts. Use SEO keywords to link to relevant content, but refrain from overkill.
  • Say what needs to be said, leave the fluff and jargon at home.
  • Follow AP style. Just please.
  • If you’re having trouble writing something compelling, refer to InkHouse VP John McElhenny’s seven tips for good writing.
  • Incorporate visual assets where you can. Move beyond text. Include infographics, images, charts or videos to support your news.

PR Newswire is standing up to bad content in an effort to uphold its responsibility to the more than 30,000 journalists, 10,000 websites and various newsrooms that it serves as a resource to. We applaud them for this move and will do our part by continuing to develop and support quality content to drive forth the effort against bad content.

Read more from admin
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Should Online and Mobile News be Free?

Survey says: Yes! Earlier this year InkHouse teamed up with GMI Lightspeed to survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18+. We discovered that only 10% of Americans pay for an online subscription.

In fact, Americans still value print subscriptions. Just over half (56%) pay for one. Of those, local newspapers are most popular (68%), with special interest magazines (e.g. cooking, pets, etc.) coming in second (41%), and an almost three-way tie for third between national newspapers, news magazines and women’s/men’s magazines).

We are not willing to transfer that affinity for news to online and mobile just yet. Eighty-six percentof respondents believe that mobile and online news should be free, and only 10% pay for an online subscription. Men are more willing to pay than women: 15% versus 5%. Directionally, this trend seems to have staying power. Of the younger demographics, 90% of those 18 to 24 and 94% of those 25 to 34, expect news to be free.

What does this mean? Newsrooms are still hurting as they transform their business models (read more in The Opportunity for PR in the State of the News Media). PR programs with journalistic content can help fill the gap. Top media properties are accepting contributed content in the form of articles, graphics and video. And many are introducing native advertising into the mix as well (Outbrain and Taboola are growing quickly for good reason).

You can view the full survey results in our ebook, Read It, Watch It, or Tweet It – How Americans Read and Share News.

 

Read more from Beth Monaghan
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Eleven Associated Press Style Tips for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

With São Paolo, Brazil, in the world spotlight, writers will be kicking around edits to achieve top content.

The Associated Press has published its topical guide for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, compiling essential terms, spelling and usage for the month-long competition. Concluding Sunday, July 13, the international men’s football tournament features 32 teams – all seeking the gold FIFA World Cup Trophy – across 12 venues in 12 cities.

While watching Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo complain on field or USA’s John Brooks net game-winning goals, writers can incorporate AP’s World Cup guidelines:

  • 4-2-3-1 formation: The typical line-up of a modern-day soccer team, with four defenders, two deep midfielders, three attacking midfielders and one forward.
  • backpass: A pass that a player makes back toward his own goal, to the goalkeeper on his team. The goalkeeper is unable to pick up the ball if the pass comes from the player’s foot.
  • football: Preferred term for soccer internationally.
  • hand ball: A foul awarded when a player deliberately touches the ball with his hand or any part of his arm.
  • hospital pass: A pass to a player who will be heavily tackled by an opponent upon receiving it.
  • parking the bus: A phrase used by coaches in the English Premier League – and some elsewhere – to describe how a team packs its defense to protect a lead of a draw. It can often involve using all 10 outfield players as defenders.
  • red card: Issued to a player who commits a serious foul or who has been issued two yellow cards in the same game. The player must leave the field and cannot be replaced.
  • throw-in: When a player restarts play by throwing the ball back onto the pitch from its perimeter. The player must keep both feet on the ground and have both hands behind his head as he throws the ball.
  • wall: A line of defensive players protecting the team’s goalkeeper at a free kick.
  • World Cup: Not World Cup Finals.
  • zonal marking: A system of defending at corners where players from the defensive team mark areas rather than opposition players; an alternative to man-to-man marking.

To score goals in mastering written style, learn when it’s appropriate to use more than or over and study hard-to-remember rules.

Read more from Steve Vittorioso
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On Bad Content & Why GigaOm Changed its Guest Post Policy

A Checklist for Your Contributed Content

GigaOm decided to limit guest posts and I understand why. Late last month, Tom Krazit explained why in his piece, We’re updating our policies toward guest posts on GigaOm. Here’s why. The main reason: bad content.

There is only one thing to say about this from a PR standpoint – garbage in, garbage out. Yes, PR people are likely going to help shape the content. This is not new, or news. While some have decried this ghost-writing trend, the practice has been around as long as thoughtful people have been writing and speaking in public. In fact, we revere the speechwriters who crafted the memorable words we quote from presidents like JFK. We accept that not all influencers are great writers (even Sheryl Sandberg had a co-writer for Lean In – her name is Nell Scovell).

PR people are often the conduit for ideas. We help translate complex concepts into stories that are accessible to a broader audience. And yes, we should do a better job at parsing the good from the bad. I want to side with PR people, because I am one, and a proud one. But I also get it. I don’t own a media property and even I get pitched on guest post topics for the InkHouse blog that have nothing to do with PR or content marketing.

The problem and the opportunity is that there are so many places to offer these great ideas that more people are getting into the game. Content draws eyeballs, which can create leads so we have lots of content in search of stardom through native advertising, guest posts, Op-Eds, Medium, LinkedIn Publishing and more.

This rush of content will eventually ebb, and as we’re seeing with GigaOm, the best will rise to the top. It begs an important question for PR people and our clients: what is good content in the age when everyone is an expert and anyone can publish? This is the issue that compelled GigaOm to change its policy.

Before you pitch a contributed piece, consider these questions:

  • Is your idea original? Is it your idea? You need to be passionate about the idea or else no one else will. Authenticity shines through interpersonal relationships and it’s no different between an author and a reader. The reader absorbs the author’s state of mind.
  • Is the topic relevant to the industry conversation? If yes, why? Is it a unique perspective or is it the same as everyone else’s point of view?
  • Is your topic timely? If it’s related to news, make sure it’s today’s news, not last week’s or last month’s.
  • Is your content promotional? Does it include verbiage about your products and services? Does it include links back to your product pages and sales teams? Does it include your favorite company buzzwords that have lost their meaning through over use (“best-of-breed” and “leading edge” are red flags)? If you answered yes to any of these questions, no respectable media outlet will run the piece.
  • Is it well written? We’re not all natural writers, and many great thinkers need the support of great writers. Enter good PR people!

The same timeless basics of good PR apply to contributed content. Make it thoughtful. Make it relevant. Make it unique. Make it good.

Read more from Beth Monaghan
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Tough Media: Five obstacles to getting coverage (and how to overcome them)

Last weekend, I participated in the Tough Mudder, notoriously known as “the toughest event on the planet.” As I ran up and down the Green Mountains of Vermont, climbing walls, swimming through ice water, and running through high-voltage wires, all while knee-deep in mud, I came to realize that I (perhaps foolishly) enjoy a great challenge – and that doesn’t stop at my extracurricular activities, but spills into my career as a PR professional as well.

While one of the main objectives of a career in PR is to obtain media coverage for clients, that isn’t always an easy task.

Here are five things that will help any PR person overcome the obstacle of getting media coverage:

  1. News hook: According to Beth Monaghan, there are two ways to get media coverage – make your own news or find a way to hook onto current news. If you can tie your story idea to a timely topic already making headlines, it is more likely to catch a reporter’s attention and fit into something they are already working on.
  2. Build relationships: Reporters are more likely to trust resources who have helped them out in the past. With shrinking staffs, they are strapped for time, often writing upwards of five stories a day. They don’t have time to read emails promoting ideas that have nothing to do with their coverage areas. If you are looking to obtain coverage with a specific reporter, it is essential to get to know them. While this used to happen over lunch and coffee, we are now reliant on the seldom phone call and Twitter, which my colleague Samantha McGarry points out is a “huge and untapped asset for building relationships with reporters.” If you are smart, knowledgeable, and helpful the first time you interact with a journalist, it is highly likely they will come back to you again.
  3. Spokesperson: Have a spokesperson that is readily available. That means if the reporter is available in an hour, so is the spokesperson. Reporters are working on very tight deadlines, so you are more likely to get coverage if you are available when they are. Also, make sure the spokesperson is up to speed on all messaging and talking points. Most times, they can end up crafting the story you want to tell during the interview if they are prepared ahead of time. For additional advice on navigating the media interview, check out Beth Monaghan’s tips on how to get quoted as you intend.
  4. Supporting materials: Journalists aren’t going to buy into a story just because you are selling it. Having supporting data and infographics validates the story and helps reporters do their job by providing ready-made visuals. As my colleague Lee Glandorf pointed out in a previous post, an editor will need visual elements when it’s time to publish, so get ahead of them by offering compelling visuals to craft the content around.
  5. Call to action: Make sure you are clear about what you are asking the reporter to do. Do you have a new story idea you’d like them to consider? Would you like to schedule a meeting with one of your executives? Or do you want to provide a new perspective on a story they’ve already written? A pitch with a clear call to action is more likely to achieve the end result you are looking for.

So while (thankfully) pitching the media results in less bruises, in many ways it requires the same skills necessary complete the Tough Mudder course – grit, resilience, and a team stacked with the right tools to get the job done.

Read more from Kristen Raymaakers