Tag Archives: media relations

Why Evergreen Stories Die

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Evergreen stories mean the content is permanently fresh and always newsworthy – sounds like a media pitching slam dunk, right? Unfortunately, in today’s constantly moving news cycle evergreen stories don’t make it to air because they can be pushed for another day, and another day, and so often fall off a producer’s radar.

I’ve heard from practitioners who brainstorm evergreen topics internally and then get their clients, who are experts in a specific field, to layer on a juicy details germane to the moment – yet on the flip side I know folks who confirm evergreen topics with their clients and then pitch out when they can piggyback on a hot topic in the news. No matter the process, the fact remains that our end goal is to secure a story and an evergreen story alone won’t open up doors much less land a spot on the nightly news. Continue reading

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From Mail to Maker’s Mark: A Scale for Assessing Flack-Reporter Relationships

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The Coffee-Serving Security Guard © by Qole Pejorian

Every PR pro has been in the scenario: the team is gathered in a conference room. The topic of media comes up, and various names are bandied about. Then the boss growls, “who has a relationship with that reporter?” The implication is clear: in a business of connections, the person doing the pitching should have some sort of tie to the writer/editor/blogger in question.

Invariably, someone pipes up, claiming they have a relationship with the reporter in question. But the word “relationship” is fuzzy, Continue reading

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There’s at Least Two Sides to a Story

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oxygen supply © by clurr

Should you be successful in generating coverage, you may also be providing oxygen for your opposition.

The media likes to feel as though they’re presenting both sides (or more) of a story. So if there’s an obvious counterpoint to what you’re promoting, expect them to go there. Sometimes you might be surprised at what will be generated.

Your Correspondent has done PR work for a national association which promotes the many health benefits of breastfeeding. However, our success at raising awareness saw the nation’s leading anti-depression organisation put out its own media release. Continue reading

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Want to Upset a Reporter? Call to ‘Follow Up’ on Your Email

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Phone Talkin © by Martin Cathrae

Journalists, as a group, have a lot of pet peeves: sources who want to go off the record for no good reason, overly literal editors, the Oxford comma. But the biggest complaint? Getting calls from flacks who want to make sure that their email arrived. We live in 2013: the email always arrives.

Jeffrey Young, an otherwise calm and thoughtful Huffington Post reporter, once wished death on PR pros who dare to waste his time following up on an email (“DIE IN A FIRE,” he tweeted). Continue reading

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Dunbar’s Number, Your Brain and Why Scaling Media Relations is a Bad Idea

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my brains - let me show you them © by Liz Henry

Public relations today faces a vexing problem: our brains aren’t big enough to keep up with the promise of the technology that we now have available to us. Now, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on my peers, the reality is that, regardless of industry, no one has a brain big enough to deal with the increasing power of tools that allow for great social interconnectedness.

According to Robin Dunbar, most of us can only maintain meaningful social connections with about 150 people: Dunbar’s Number. As detailed in a thoughtful Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile last month, the 150 number comes up again and again: it’s historically been the size of a military company, of an ideally sized factory, of the average Christmas-card list of a British family. Continue reading

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What the Media Thinks

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Pitching Practice © by Brian Clark (www.shutteredphotos.com)

Recently, the professional organization Washington Women in Public Relations hosted members of the media for a state of the industry roundtable at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. As a PR professional, how many times do you wish you could just pick the brain of media on what pitches work, what they think of PR, and their view of on traditional versus digital media – here is an insider peek. Continue reading

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Isaac Lessons Learned

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Hurricane Isaac makes landfall. © by Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Well New Orleans is finally surfacing after Hurricane Isaac made an appearance in our city. As a communicator it was hard to be without power. No power may mean no AC and everything in your fridge is spoiling but to a communicator no power means no TV and no internet. I was so desperate for information and to connect with the outside world that I went as low as to “watch” the radio. Continue reading

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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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Media Relations 101:Beware of the Sound Bite Trap

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Sharp AQUOS LCD TV © by Kansir

One of the problems of working in the media is that you really never turn off. Since TV is ubiquitous,  us media types are always analyzing the press to see how we would have handled certain situations differently.

I often find myself saying about media disasters, “How the hell did that happen?” And I am finding myself saying this ever more often during an election year, when we are presented with daily media screw ups.  Continue reading

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