Tag Archives: pitching

Why Evergreen Stories Die

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

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

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

Merry Blog Christmas

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Holiday Card © by the prodigal untitled13

Temperatures are starting to get cooler in areas of the country. Do you know what that means? You are behind on your Christmas PR plan!

If you are buried under in your daily to-do list and Christmas seems like a million years from now….snap out of it. You may have missed the majority of the Christmas spreads in the most desirable magazines but you can still pull it off. Continue reading

Bloggers Need PR Outreach Tactics Too

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

PRBC has talked a lot about blogger outreach from the PR side (see: Pitch Problems
and Need Blogger Outreach? A Case Study in How NOT to Do It.

This post is about bloggers reaching out to PR professionals.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are unscrupulous content producers in content farms looking to get as many clicks on their links as possible. Continue reading

The Funny Thing About The Media

The media never ceases to amaze me. In my 15 years in the PR business, I am still amazed at the impact news outlets have in influencing its audience. Moreover, it is still quite enlightening to see how the press decides what to cover in their news outlets. I don’t typically cite clients when I’m wearing my PRBC blogger hat on, but I’m making an exception with this one to share firsthand experience on what I’ve learned from rolling out a publicity campaign for a little bake shop in the Philadelphia area called Cupcakes GourmetContinue reading

Time for Journalism’s ‘Name-and-Shame’ Game to End

I’ve never understood the point of the “name-and-shame” tactic employed by some journalists who feel aggrieved by what they perceive to be an undue amount of pitches from PR pros or just plain spam from PR agencies.Is it that they are trying to teach us a lesson? A Daddy (the media) knows best, and if we (the misbehaving children) know what is good for us, we’ll shape up quick before Dad comes home type of ethos?

Or is it fueled by a genuine desire to help the public relations industry better inform reporters of key trends and provide the sources they need to report on the world’s news?

My cynical side tells me it’s neither. Instead, it’s a good bit of self-righteous hand wringing aimed at embarrassing us into submission. Continue reading

When Not to Pitch: During an Earthquake (or a Hurricane)

Dear PR colleagues: Pls do not pitch earthquake-related stories unless you rep an earthquake preparedness company/expert.

I wrote that tweet Wednesday afternoon in response to a tweet from Forbes media reporter Jeff Bercovici that he, like every other reporter it seems, had received an irrelevant earthquake-related pitch from a PR pro.

And Friday afternoon, I tweeted this as Hurricane Irene beared down on the East Coast:

Oh wow. Bad PR RT @ShopWiki_Hlth_B Be prepared for Hurricane Irene with this awesome waterproof mascara by @LorealParis

*Headshaking* Far be it from me to fault my many excellent colleagues in the PR business, but let me be blunt, fellow PR pros:

Please stop being stupid with your pitches. Continue reading

Don’t Count Newspapers Out Just Yet …

For any PR pro who has jumped on the bandwagon and thinks that newspapers no longer matter, I urge you to read a great report just out from the Poynter Institute. The report sought to measure the total online and print reach of newspapers in their local markets, and the results may surprise you.

First: newspapers still reach a massive audience. The combined local market reach (online and print) of the top-20 newspapers is 47,370,687. That’s 15 percent of the U.S.’ 307 million population. (Note: The Wall Street Journal and USA Today were excluded because their local market isn’t clearly defined.)

via Poynter.org

I don’t know about you, but if I’m able to tap into even a sliver of that size of an audience, I’m absolutely going to give newspapers a bit more of my attention going forward.

Perhaps most surprising, however, Continue reading

Public Relations at South by Southwest

We’ve had it on our calendars for months. March 10-15, Austin, TX. South by Southwest.

Maybe you have a client making an announcement there. Maybe a new, young startup out to change the world. Maybe you represent a global brand rolling into town with a caravan. As a communications pro, you have a game plan. You’ve got your metrics and deliverables all set. It’s time to put those away for a minute.

It’s time to figure out how you’re going to be a part of the amoeba-like mass that manages to keep in a constant state of motion. How do you, as a PR/communications counselor extract personal and professional value from an event such as SXSW?

Meeting in meat space

Jason Falls and Becky McCray at SXSW 2009. That's how I get down..

I can’t stress enough just how important relationships are. Even in today’s world of perpetual connectivity, it can be difficult to foster and grow a relationship without being present. Without being part of the conversations that happen in the real world. Without interaction. That’s why in order for you to extract value from SXSW, you need to embrace the subtitle of the conference: Interactive.

Set up coffees/happy hours/brunches with the folks that will be there that are outside your core list of media. Recognize other influencers such as the corporate bloggers of your company’s customers or analysts that tend to create more real-time content.

It’s really hard to be a part of the mix from our offices. It’s difficult to maintain the currency of the PR industry — relationships — when the majority of people that we interact with are based at least two states away. There is inherent value to meeting with somebody in person.

Disconnect and connect

SXSW 2009
Me and @Hawaii, aka Ryan Ozawa at SXSW, 2009.

As you look at the events that your clients want to be a part of beyond SXSW, keep a part of your planning dedicated to “how can I serve my clients aside from hosting meetings?”

You’re going to recap the event. Why not add a little color to it? If you’re at a tradeshow, fire up the video recorder of choice and take a tour of the show floor. Set up a Tumblr, Posterous account or posts for your company or agency’s blog to document the event in real time. I also like to take pictures at the events I go to.

A few folks have written posts recently either defending why to go to SXSW or why not to go to SXSW. In my opinion, it is one of the single-most conferences you can attend as a PR person.

Conversations go both ways

Do you follow folks on Twitter? Do you subscribe to their RSS? Maybe it’s as easy as having a two-sentence “nice to meet you” email in your drafts you can send 30 seconds after you connect with somebody. The point is, you just met somebody, foster that relationship. You never know who you’re going to meet.

A community or relationship does not occur spontaneously. They must be curated, maintained and developed. By having a strategy in place of how you as an individual communications counselor can continue to build your own little community after each event, you will see a significant increase in your event ROI.

As we look forward to South by Southwest, community building should be one of the guiding factors of our presence down there. In order to influence the conversation, we must be part of the conversation. We must become influencers ourselves in order to influence the influencers. This is why we go to SXSW.

Why are you going to SXSW?

That’s a little ‘pitchy’ dawg

Oh yes, it’s that time of year where thousands of contestants try out to be the next American Idol. There are some great singers, some really awful ones, and then there are those that are a little ‘pitchy.’

I’ve been getting a lot more pitches lately that are starting to remind me of Idol contestants. They aren’t necessarily terrible but they aren’t that great either.

Do you want to wow the judges (the media) with your next pitch audition and get that golden ticket to Hollywood? Think of me as a sort of Marie Seacrest but taller; grab a Coke glass and sit back as we break it down for you. Continue reading