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Posts Tagged ‘pitches’

5 Ways to Ensure That the Phone Pitch Doesn’t Die

keep-calm-and-don-t-call-meThanks to the Internet making things more accessible with email and social media, the phone is pretty much a paperweight for your client’s folders. And I get it: You don’t have to hear the gruff and grizzle of a reporter on the other end of the line telling you to piss off, or some such.

That said, the phone call is still one of the most important tools in any flack’s arsenal. For anything from a follow-up to a lunch appointment, never underestimate the power of speaking to someone on the phone.

Now, some PR professionals are making it very easy for our favorite journalists to never pick up a phone call again. Ever. Why? Here are 5 phone practices we can use to ensure that the phone pitch doesn’t vanish.

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Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsLearn how to use stories to inspire, connect, and persuade your clients! In this workshop starting September 3, you'll learn how to uncover stories in everyday life, incorporate stories into your media work, use storytelling techniques with clients, all to improve your pitch and presentation skills. Register now!

What Makes for a Good, Monocle-Free Trend Piece?

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If you obsessively follow journalists on Twitter each evening (and you really should), then you probably noticed many of them passing this New York Times ”monocles are back” trend piece around last night along with a moderate dose of mockery.

Yep, that’s the one.

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Journalists Actually Want More Social Media Pitches

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A few weeks ago we asked whether PR should pitch journalists directly via Twitter and got a very mixed response. Now the third annual “Social Journalism Study” performed by Cision seems to confirm that, where pitches are concerned, we’re an industry in flux: for now, at least, the vast majority will still be delivered via the digital equivalent of snail mail.

The least surprising conclusion drawn from the study (available for download here) is that 82% of journalists would like their PR contacts to use email. There’s a bit more to this one, though: it seems that a large share of participants would also appreciate more contact via social.

Further conclusions after the jump, of course…

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Should PR Pitch Journalists on Twitter with Direct Messages?

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One of the big updates Twitter made this month allows users to receive direct messages from any of their followers—even if they don’t follow back. On first glance, this is good news for reporters who want to contact sources and terrible news for Justin Bieber. But what about PR? Is it a great new way to get journalists to notice your pitches or another media relations no-no?

We should note that the “receive DMs from any follower” setting is optional and that it’s not available to everyone yet—for example, we can use it on our company feed but not our personal feed. Yet some big-name journalists took to it immediately:

The natural conclusion is that if journalists enable their DM option then it’s fair game for PR. And direct messages are, in a way, harder to ignore than emails.

Here are our first thoughts on the issue:

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Pitches That Worked: UAE Airline’s ‘Flying Nannies’

It’s tough out there for an airline. Even if you don’t happen to be British Airways, sometimes you feel like everybody hates you. Of course air travel brands look for ways to stand out, and after some opted for child free “quiet zones“, Etihad Airways found a nice Bizzaro World alternative with its new “flying nannies” service.

Someone representing Eithad, which is the official airline of the United Arab Emirates because of course it is, thought this story would have wings—and it is indeed quite odd. Here are some choice bits from the press release:

Identified by bright orange aprons, each Flying Nanny aims to provide a ‘helping hand’ to families and unaccompanied minors.

The course includes in-depth training, from the world renowned Norland College, concentrating on child psychology and sociology…

And with this training they will offer “activities”:

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Apple’s ‘Keep ‘Em Guessing’ Press Strategy Works Wonders

Oh wait, actually we are.

We’re still a little amazed by how often journalists mention Apple—just do a Google News search and you’ll see what we mean. The company’s PR team doesn’t even really need to pitch anyone for all that  earned media, right? It’s enough to make you jealous.

A great example: no one knows exactly what the company plans to do this fall beyond releasing yet another iPhone, but they’re all still reporting on the brand’s plans to do something. Apple encourages this rampant speculation by toying with journalists’ desire to break a story—any story.

Here’s the famously press-shy company’s latest release, sent out to tech journos by CEO Tim Cook this morning:

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Pitch Your Food Clients to VegNews

VegNewsThe pages of VegNews go beyond recipes. The mag started out as a humble freebie newspaper, but as vegan culture went more mainstream, so did the pub, which will cover any and all things related to the vegan life. After all, its tagline is: “think, eat, thrive.” Publicists can land a pitch in the pages of this mag by tailoring it to the vegan set.

“We’re always interested in new foods, beauty care or even pet or home care,” said editorial director Elizabeth Castoria. So the product review section is wide open for publicists’ pitches. Vegan personalities and celebrities are also wanted. “We definitely like, kind of, breaking the story that such-and-such celebrity is vegan,” she explained.

Get editor contact info and details on the best times for PR pitching in How To Pitch: VegNews. [subscription required]

Pitch Your Gear and Clothing Clients to Women’s Running

Women’s Running is the go-to mag for gals seeking advice on gear, training, health and nutrition. Unlike a lot of running mags, this one doesn’t emphasize elite athletes, but tries to provide stories relevant to its community. Luckily for PR pros, editors look to publicists for their Web content, gear and apparel sections.

“We really rely on [publicists] to keep us abreast of trends and new products. Special interest stories from their clients are great, as well,” said editor in chief Jessica Sebor. “We also like to receive pitches from race directors about races, running vacations or camps.”

Read more in How To Pitch: Women’s Running. [subscription required]

Another Reminder to Get Your Mail Merges – Or Just Salutations – Correct

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Clusterstock editor Joseph Weisenthal received an interesting pitch today. The salutation combined his Twitter handle, name and his unofficial title, “blogger.” This is just a friendly reminder to get your mail merges working correctly – or better yet – try using them less frequently and write out personal emails to the media.