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Posts Tagged ‘PR pitching’

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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3 Proven Tips for Pitching Bloggers

pitch blogger

For a couple of years, I was just a boisterous guy with an opinion. Then, something happened. I don’t know if I began speaking to people differently or if it was that new Paleo diet I was on, but it was strange — I got pitched.

The email took me on a trip down Amnesia Lane; I had completely forgotten what it felt like to receive a pitch. Back in the old days when I worked in media, I received pitches via phone … or even fax. This newfangled “email” pitch took some getting used to, but I didn’t respond well because the pitch didn’t relate to anything I could discuss, didn’t include my name anywhere, and only served to relay information about a specific product.

It should go without saying that this is not the best way to pitch. For those pros who spend countless hours trying to pitch bloggers, we have three tips.

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News Producers to PR Professionals: ‘Live Up to That Name Please!’

Public-Relations-Help-Photo-Lucy-from-Charlie-Brown

Some of us aren’t crazy about the moniker “flacks.” Even more are adverse to being called “spin doctors.” The term many embrace in this profession is “PR professional.”

The reason? Public relations people want to be considered pros at their jobs. They do much more than pitch and play. They want to convey expertise in a title and hope our colleagues in the media will see that professional ability every time. One catch: being professional in the process. 

That’s fine but if you are going to use that title, I have a request on behalf of many assignment desk editors and news producers: “Act like it!” Apparently, there have been issues.

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How to Land Your Clients a Spot in Essence

Essence-ArticleEssence, which calls itself the black women’s bible, is ripe for PR pitches. With 1.5 million issues in print (and 1 million online), this pub reaches a large, niche audience.

Editors at Essence want PR folks to know that they are inundated with press releases, so pitches need not be generic. Be sure to thoroughly research the brand before delivering your pitch:

“The number one thing I want publicists to know is that yes, Essence is a magazine for black women. Our mission statement is ‘We tell black women’s stories like no one else can.’ But,” [deputy managing editor Dawnie Walton] stressed, “you still need to know a little bit more about the brand than just pitching anything having to do with black people in general.” Also helpful: pitching to the right person. Take a look at the masthead and know who covers what to make a press release or story suggestion more targeted.

For more, including editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Essence.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

5 Things to Never Say During a Media Pitch

shut_upIf you are in charge of a PR team of any size, you should have had to do this — listen to your team pitch the media, critique them following the call, and watch them grow.

First, if you have never done that, turn in your APR certification or brass name plate. Second, if you have, then you have felt the cringe factor when a hard-working (or suck-out-loud) team member is speaking with a member of the media and trips over his or her tongue.

The pitch is off. The talking points are missing. And the end is near. *CLICK*

If you understand that cringe, then get our a pen and paper, high-five me, and write down the 5 things to never say during a media pitch.  Read more

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking in Public

publicspeak

You sweating yet?

In most PR agencies, flacks have one fear coursing through their bodies that forces them to consider wetting their pants just to relieve some stress — public speaking. You would think in this industry those are fears you leave at the door or reconsider your career choice, but there it is.

The public relations pros that have this issue — glossophobia, to those diagnosed and on medication — love pitching because they can hide behind a phone, or even better, an anonymous IP address and email. However, if those same folks are on the pitch team, they freak.

So, if you are among those whose knees are knocking, palms are sweating, and throats are cracking reading this post, don’t fret. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when caught in front of a crowd of possible clients.

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Feature Your Clients In This PR-Friendly Parenting Pub

AmericanBabyAmerican Baby‘s target demographic are millennial moms and the mag’s goal is to try and assess her wants and needs. It’s the perfect place to showcase your clients, whether they be products, people or places.

Jessica HartshornAmerican Baby’s lifestyle director, says the pub is always open to pitches from PR professionals. Everything from celebrities to nursery furniture is fair game. Here are some topics ripe for pitching:

Specific PR-friendly sections of the magazine include ”Baby Booty” (products), “Nesting” (nursery) and “Baby Best” (a roundup of best-in-show of one type of item, such as car seats). Sending a great picture of the product with a pitch is pretty standard, but if you’re super-eager, feel free to cold-mail a sample of your product to American Baby’s offices. Hartshorn notes that seeing an item face to face for the first time can be advantageous over an email, but be advised that editors are unable to return samples.

To learn more about PR pitching, including editors contact info, read: How To Pitch: American Baby.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

 

Twitter Nixes New ‘Direct Messaging to Non-Followers’ Feature

Last month we asked whether PR should pitch journalists on Twitter with direct messages in response to a new feature that allowed users to DM others who don’t follow them. The question may be a little less relevant today as the service has apparently filed that one under “failed experiments.”

The post itself went up in September, and it doesn’t tell us a whole lot except that Twitter’s standard response to service questions is “talk to the press release.”

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Showcase Your Clients In This Latina-Driven Mag

CosmopolitanLatinasCosmopolitan for Latinas, an off-shoot of Cosmopolitan magazine, bills itself as ‘the spirit of Cosmo with a Latina sensibility and the Latina voice.’ This quarterly pub has plenty of room for publicist pitches. The sections that are open to hearing from PR pros include: “En Vivo”, which is all about entertainment; “Divertida”, which focuses on anything lifestyle related and “Beauty.” Some additional pitching etiquette:

 The best way for PR pros to pitch is through email with links (if no links are available, sending samples is a good idea), and editors will follow up with an email or phone call if they think something is a good fit. If you don’t hear back in two weeks, it’s OK to follow up with a phone call. The mag is published quarterly, and if you want to give your pitch the best chance, managing editor Jessica Rodriguez advised pitching right after an issue closing — not during.

For editors’ contact info and more, read: How To Pitch: Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

MEMO from Yahoo’s David Pogue: ‘Buzzwords Blow!’

david-pogueFor those who know me and appreciate this craft, it’s hardly a secret that I have a man crush on affable consumer tech reporter David Pogue, formerly with the New York Times now enjoying a respite with Yahoo! as he “allows his juices to flow. In fact, for another gig I enjoy with TalentZoo’s Flack Me, I have scribed this and this with Pogue as my muse.

He’s friendly to the flack. He’s a journalist that understands this ofttimes hostile and symbiotic relationship we are privileged to share with reporters and editors. And now that Pogue is no longer with the Old Gray Lady and moved on to purpler pastures, it seems he is getting a little randy with his responses.

And yes, I dig it.

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