Posted tagged ‘Journalist’

4 Tips to Building a Better Relationship with the Media

September 26, 2011

Relationships are key in our daily lives. For those of us who have chosen PR as our career, building relationships with the media is our lifeblood. Positive inclusions in a newspaper, magazine or on a key industry blog can help put our clients name on the map, as well as increase their revenue. As PR professionals, it is our job to make this happen.

But, you need to understand that generating positive coverage for your client isn’t about blasting mass emails, press releases or untargeted pitches out aimlessly. In reality, most journalists will tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than finding their inboxes filled with irrelevant pitches from PR professionals. To avoid this, don’t repeatedly spam them with information they can’t use. You need to be a reference that they can come to for help and to make this happen, you need to build a strong, ongoing relationship.

Here are four tips from my experience in working with journalists that will help you to succeed in building a strong relationship with the media:

Be Sure You Understand Their Outlet

Before developing your pitch, you need to first understand the outlet you’re pitching. As I mentioned before, nothing can be more irritating to journalist than to receive off-base pitches while they are under the pressure of meeting a tight deadline. As PR professionals, we must understand each of the outlets that we work with, as well as how they are structured and their timelines for story development. Take the time necessary to familiarize yourself with the outlets and stories that your targeted journalist typically covers to ensure that your client is relevant. Fully understanding who and what they cover will go a long way towards building a long-term relationship.

Always Personalize Your Pitches

No one likes impersonal communication. Make sure that you take that extra couple of minutes with every encounter you have with them to personalize your interaction. I highly recommend that you read up on what the journalist has recently covered and incorporate this you’re your pitch or general follow up. Keeping your pitch personal will let the journalist know that you understand their coverage area and is key to building a relationship. Also, every interaction doesn’t need to be a pitch. I’ve found that just checking in with a journalist to let them know that they recently wrote an interesting article can be very beneficial in the relationship building process.

Don’t Bait and Switch

Journalists are always on deadline and they don’t have time to play games. If you pitch a story, or source, that they are interested in, be sure you can deliver. Nothing can sour a relationship with a journalist faster than failing to meet their expectations by promising an interview with your clients CEO and then having a marketing director on the call. The same goes for story pitching. If a journalist goes into a call expecting one thing, and you turn around and talk about something completely different, chances are you might not get a second opportunity with the journalist.

Saying Thank You Goes a Long Way

After a story featuring your client appears, don’t forget to say thank you. This doesn’t have to be a long-winded, gushing letter. It could be a sentence or two that lets the journalist know that you appreciate the time and effort he or she put into the piece. This simple act of appreciation can be the difference between continued coverage with a journalist or not. Whenever a journalist covers one of my clients, I always send a short note thanking them for their time and offering the client up as a source for future pieces. This shows appreciation for their hard work and I for one know that it’s nice to be acknowledged.  I’m sure they do too.

Those are a few recommendations that I have from my personal experience. Do you have any other tips that work for you? How do you build strong relationships with the media? Please leave your thoughts below.

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ABC News Reporter Miguel Marquez Beaten Covering Unrest in Bahrain

February 17, 2011

Miguel Marquez, an ABC News correspondent covering the protests in Bahrain, came under attack yesterday and was beaten by protesters. He was not seriously injured. Full audio of the incident can be found at the link below.

This attack comes just one day after CBS announced that reporter Lara Logan was beaten and sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square last Friday night in Cairo.

From Mediobistro.com:

Marquez was not badly injured, but he was hit with billy clubs and his camera was pulled from his hands while he yelled, “Journalist, journalist, journalist!” over and over again, trying to show he was not a protester.

“Hey! I’m a journalist here! … I’m going! I’m going! I’m going! I’m going! … I’m hit,” he said.

 

Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Office

October 29, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has announced that it will close its Boston bureau to save money and that the publication will shift its coverage of the mutual fund industry to its money and investing reporting team.

From Reuters:

“The economic background is painfully obvious to us all,” Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson told the paper’s employees in a memo. “That there has been truly great reporting… out of Boston over many, many years is not in doubt. But we remain in the midst of a profound downturn in advertising revenue and thus must think the unthinkable.”

News Corp, which owns the Journal, will keep sister news organizations Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch in Boston, the memo said. An investigative reporting operation for the Journal will remain too, Thomson said.

Nine bureau reporters at the Journal would have to apply for other jobs, the memo said.

A Journal spokesman declined to say how much money the closure will save. There are no plans to close other U.S. or international bureaus, Thomson wrote.

New York Times to Layoff 100

October 19, 2009

The New York Times said today that the publication will cut 100 newsroom jobs and an unspecified number elsewhere amid industry wide declines in revenue.

Another tough hit due to these difficult economic times!

From the Associated Press:

The Times will offer voluntary buyouts at first but will resort to layoffs if it cannot meet the targets.

“I hope that won’t happen, but it might,” Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote in a memo to staff.

The Times, flagship of The New York Times Co., cut its newsroom work force by 100 positions last year mostly through buyouts, but Keller said then that the newspaper had to make a “relatively small” number of involuntary cuts to meet that target.

Even with the latest cuts, amounting to 8 percent of the newsroom staff, the Times has the largest news-gathering staff of any U.S. newspaper. The cuts would leave the newsroom with about 1,150 reporters and editors.

The Times already trimmed about 100 positions from its business operations this spring and plans additional cuts. The newspaper would not say how many. The business side now employs about 1,850.

The newspaper has so far avoided the deep newsroom cutbacks that have become a regular occurrence at America’s big-city dailies.

Gawker has the full memo that was distributed by Bill Keller. Here is a sample:

“Colleagues,

I had planned to invite you to the newsroom and break this news in person today, but I’ve been hit by something that seems to be the flu. Though I strongly believe in delivering bad news in person, I don’t want to add insult to injury by spreading infection.

Let me cut to the chase: We have been told to reduce the newsroom by 100 positions between now and the end of the year.

We hope to accomplish this by offering voluntary buyouts. On Thursday, the Company will be sending buyout offers to everyone in the newsroom. Getting a buyout package does NOT mean we want you to leave. It is simply easier to send the envelopes to everyone. If you think a buyout may be right for you, you have up to 45 days to decide whether you will accept it or not.

As before, if we do not reach 100 positions through buyouts, we will be forced to go to layoffs. I hope that won’t happen, but it might.

Our colleagues in editorial and op-ed, and on the business side, also face another round of budget cuts.”

Author Dominick Dunne Dies

August 26, 2009

Another death to report this afternoon as Dominick Dunne, the author and journalist who covered the trials of celebrity defendants such as O. J. Simpson, has died at the age of 83.

If deaths come in three, who’s next? Ted Kennedy last night was #1.

From CNN:

Called “Nick” by his friends, Dunne was putting the finishing touches on his final novel, which he said he planned to call “Too Much Money,” when his health took a turn for the worse.

He flew to Germany earlier this month for another round of stem cell treatments at the same Bavarian clinic where the late Farrah Fawcett was treated. He was hospitalized upon his return to New York, then sent home.

As a correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, Dunne was a fixture at some of the most famous trials of our times — Claus von Bulow, William Kennedy Smith, the Menendez brothers, O.J. Simpson, Michael Skakel and Phil Spector.

He discovered his magazine writing career in his 50s, through personal tragedy — his daughter’s murder.

He vented his anger at the legal system in “Justice: A Father’s Account of the Trial of his Daughter’s Killer,” following the murder trial of John Sweeney, the estranged boyfriend who strangled 22-year-old Dominique Dunne, in 1982. Sweeney spent fewer than three years in prison.