Before joining the Convirza team, I was TV news reporter and anchor for 4 years.
I still know a ton of people in the ‘biz’. So I decided to reach out to one of the reporters I worked with to ask a few questions about PR, pitches, and news. For obvious reasons this reporter won’t be named in this blog post. He’s still a working journalist today.
Hopefully these help as you reach out to bloggers, reporters, and other journalists.
It has to be relevant. I don’t care about your product release, or your new offering. I do care about a great story connected to your product release or new offering. If you can relate it to the economy, to a human interest story, to a big issue in the community, then it’s a news story.
Otherwise, I don’t care.
They make several.
First, they just send a press release and assume that I’ll do a story. That’s not how it works. They need to follow up and they need to make sure I see the value of the story. Again, I don’t care about their company, I care about a story.
Second, they send too many press releases. Services like PR Web and others have flooded the market with press releases. That isn’t useful for anyone. I’ve never done one story from a PR Web press release. Not one. I don’t know any reporter that has.
Third, be accommodating. I’m in TV. I need video. I need sound. Don’t send me a press release and then act surprised when I need an on-camera interview.
Reporters don’t like doing stories that originate from a press release. It’s kind of a badge of honor if you can get through the workweek and not have to use a press release to get a story. Feed me some information and I’ll produce a story. Don’t send me a press release in a fancy folder.
Remember, the story has to matter.
It depends. In a local TV market I think PR firms are more effective because they have relationships with reporters. They know how to create the story and provide all the access I need.
I worked with this reporter for 3 years and I agree wholeheartedly with what he’s saying. The biggest problem PR reps make is that they assume everyone will care about what they’re doing.
We’ll publish another blog post later today where I’ll share a few stories from my reporting career–both PR successes and failures.