5 More Tips for PR Peeps
Updated: Dec 19, 2018
When I told my colleagues that I was planning to share a few more #tipsforPRpeeps, one of them instantly chimed: "First thing I always do? Delete e-mails that don't concern me."
Now that wasn't exactly a tip... but more of a reality check.
So how on earth does someone in PR come up with a relevant pitch AND strike a good relationship with media?
I shared some insights in the prelude to this article: 5 Tips for PR Peeps
And hopefully, these five additional tips will help you seal the deal!
Tip #6: Keep it concise
Pitch to the point. That means no essays, TQVM.
What's the key angle? Who's available for an interview? What are some potential talking points?
The "essay" can follow if there's interest from the journalist to find out more.
Tip #7: Know why you're picking up the phone
... and NEVER read out your e-mail pitch.
I once paused someone in the middle of a "pitch read" and asked (politely), "Is there anything not in your e-mail that you're calling to tell me about?"
She literally (and I don't use literally loosely) went, "Ahhhh! Ummm, I don't know how else to explain this. Maybe you can just read my e-mail?"
And then she hung up.
Thankfully, such verbal freak outs are rare. Unfortunately, "pitch reads" are pretty common. So if you pick up the phone to call, make sure you have something to say that would add value to your pitch.
(Side note: PR agencies may want to invest a little time towards phone etiquette training, given how text-reliant people now tend to be. I've seen first-hand how many new hires are actually nervous about making calls!)
Tip #8: Does your message suit the medium?
Technology is one of the beats I cover as a Features Journalist.
While I appreciate how intriguing blockchain and data analytics can be... how exactly do you envision these subjects playing out on TV?
Do you have an engaging spokesperson who can simplify these topics? Are there compelling visuals? If not, do you really think viewers will stay tuned to such complex and technical discussions?
Or would your pitch sit better in the written form, so readers have time to digest the details – with relevant infographics to boot?
Think about what works best to convey your message.
Tip #9: Have the right materials ready to roll
If you're pitching a TV story, do you have quality b-roll or hi-res stills? Download links to these materials? Or a proposed date/time/location to film relevant visuals?
Having these things in place will allow for smooth and timely execution.
Tip #10: Coffee with clarity
We would like to have coffee and discuss great ideas all day long. But more often than not, journalists have deadlines to meet.
So when meetings are set – even if they're casual – it helps to come prepared with some ideas. Seriously, it's hard not to enjoy good and fruitful catch-ups :)
Thoughts or additional #tipsforPRpeeps to share? Leave a comment below!