Tag Archives: journalists

Dash THIRTY Dash

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Newspaper fire orange © by NS Newsflash

In New Orleans there is always news. From football to festivals, from Mardi Gras to music and from cuisine to crime the city is always buzzing. But things are not so easy in the Big Easy for PR pros.

There is a shift happening in the media landscape. The major daily newspaper is no longer going to be daily in just 30 days. The Times Picayune has been bringing the news to New Orleanians for over 175 years. The owners of the newspaper, have decided to cut down the distribution just three days a week and focus on digital.

In a city that is based on traditions and a rich history, change is not always embraced or accepted. There are yard signs throughout the city in front of homes and businesses demanding daily distribution. Many city leaders and notables have written open letters to the owners demanding they sell or reinstate distribution. Continue reading

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If You are Going to Help a Reporter, Remember to be helpful

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Help a Reporter, as it says was designed to be helpful to both the PR pro and the reporter. I know that as a PR pro I have scored many cool PR opportunities for my clients by answering queries. As a contributing writer for PR Breakfast Club, I have often used this service to get quotes and answer topics for stories that I am writing.

Being the recipient of pitches has been very interesting to say the least. I have quickly learned that there is a huge difference between the helpful query response and the annoying query response. Continue reading

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Why Journalists Need PR People

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In these days of shrinking newsrooms, there is an increasing overlap between the worlds of PR and journalism. And old PR joke is reporters always hate PR professionals, until they need a job.

I have noticed that as journalism jobs are eroding, many reporters are turning to PR and public affairs positions with mixed results. There are so many unemployed PR practioners on the market, that there is fierce competition for these jobs. PR agencies are now looking for applicants who can do more than write well. They also have to be able to pitch, take pictures, do social media, and shoot and edit video. The video after the jump sums up my thoughts. Continue reading

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How to Become a Reporter’s Best Friend

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A few weeks ago, I was pulling into my driveway, after a long week of work, when I received a phone call from a reporter I work with wanting a quote for a story. I spent the next two hours calling and e-mailing clients trying to gather a comment. I never did get a comment, but the reporter did express gratitude for the effort.

This little exercise reminds me of why some PR practioners maintain good relations with the media, and others don’t. Here are some points to remember for young PR executives. Continue reading

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Coulson Resignation Isn’t Death Knell for Journalists-Turned-PR Pros

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Talk waxes and wanes throughout the year in the PR industry about what makes a good public relations professional, who can rightly lay claim to being a part of the profession (Are digital PR gadflys who seem to do more for to boost their own personal brands than those of their clients really PR pros?) and what’s next for the profession.

One area that has taken up a significant portion of that discussion in recent years has been journalists coming over “to the dark side” (as they would put it) and working in PR. While Bad Pitch Blog and its ilk tend to take a dim view of reporters seeking to make an honest living by doing honest work in PR, the general consensus in the business seems to be that so long as they understand the basics and respect our work, journalists are welcome to our ranks.

But can this trend go too far? And if so, what might that look like? Continue reading

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Can’t We All Just Get Along? – Good Reporters Keep Their PR Contacts Close

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Woman talking on phone among co-workerI have spent a lot of time reading about how birth order determines your personality.

Being a middle child, my personality has always been one of the peace maker and the bridge builder, which is why I want to call for a cease fire in the war between reporters and PR professionals.

Bashing PR professionals is getting quite passé. And at times it seems as trite as complaining about government workers. It’s easy to say government workers are slackers, but I used to work for the government and many government employees work very hard in a turbulent political environment. I just don’t see what can be gained from the endless sniping. For example, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington recently declared, “I don’t like PR people for the most part.” Nice. Continue reading

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Go Where Nobody Knows Your Name

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Two handsHow many conferences/seminars have you been to this year?  How many more do you plan on attending?  How many of those seminars/conferences are for PR professionals?

If you need two hands to count I suggest you stop.  A wise PR professional once said (during one of those redundant PR conferences) to stop going where the PR people are and head to the trenches.  Go where the journalist are and get to know them.  Last month I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Travel Blog Exchange, a two day “conference” of travel bloggers/writers looking to learn from each other and share their experiences.  Overall it was the perfect chance to meet some of the people I’ve gotten to know via Twitter, just like every other conference, but more importantly it also gave me an inside look into the life of a travel writer.  In case you’re unaware, this is important to me as I recently started my career as a travel publicist. :) Continue reading

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Wha!? PR people who don’t answer the phone??

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memo with urgent messageWe’ve all heard of the “good karma” e-mail. “Hi. This is So-And-So and I see you’ve recently been writing on topics X, Y and Z. I have clients in a number of related areas who might be able to serve as a source for you. Please let me know if I can ever be of any help…”

I love good karma e-mails. No pitching. No berating. Just an “I’m here to help.”

My co-workers and I like to take this to a new level. We are huge believers in helping journalists even when we hand them an expert who is not our client. We hold our relationships with journalists in very high regard. Continue reading

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Is it Time to Introduce Analytics to E-mail Pitching?

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Businessman with graphI don’t usually write about the more tactical, day-to-day issues of PR and marketing, choosing instead to focus on the delicate work-life balance, thinking like an entrepreneur and why I think it’s OK to not have a traditional PR background. But today, bear with me for a bit, as I’m going to get pretty tactical on something every PR and marketing professional uses probably every single day of their jobs: the e-mail pitch.

Ahh, yes, the infamous “pitch.” Loathed by many, MANY, but in today’s smart phone-obsessed world, about as important as ever in terms of driving successful media outreach for brands and organizations. I won’t get into the whole debate about whether e-mail pitches should or should not be used, but there were a couple of interesting points I wanted to hit from Cone’s main points in the article on about how we can all make our e-mail pitches a bit more refined and increase the rate that our e-mails to bloggers and reporters will A) get opened; and B) actually get us some type of response. Continue reading

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When the Shiny Objects Disappear, Where Do You Get Story Ideas?

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Old-fashioned toy ambulanceAs PR pros, it can be difficult to resist becoming an ambulance chaser. Sometimes, those big shiny openings to pitch a client are nearly impossible to resist. But what about the times when there isn’t an obvious point of entry? When you’re on your own to craft the story from inception to execution?

A recent survey by Middleberg/Ross revealed that 98% of journalists go online daily to generate story ideas and access information. Clearly, the web is working for them, and maybe for some of us as well. Over the past year, we’ve become increasingly familiar with hearing journalists site social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as sources for story ideas. My question is, where are the PR people getting their story ideas? Continue reading

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