I’m not sure about you, but Halloween is certainly one of my personal favorite times of the year. Haunted houses, jack-o-lanterns, scary costumes, horror movies – I love every bit of it. While all of those things can certainly be scary, the one thing that trumps them all might be the scariest thing in any PR pro’s life – not landing a single hit when pitching a story for your client.
So, how do you make sure you don’t scare off the media this Halloween? As a former journalist myself, I have a few ideas – each of which you can find below:
- Treat them like people, not zombies– I know sometimes when you are trying to juggle a dozen different projects at once, it may seem easy to write up a simple cover-all pitch that you can copy and paste and send to every reporter and editor on your media list, but remember that reporters are people too. Make sure you spell their name right. Make a comment on one of their recent stories. To put it simply, interact with them like they’re another human. After all, they’re not zombies…
- Consider their biggest fears– During my time as a reporter, one of my biggest fears was letting a story get to publication with a typo or, even worse, a major error. So, when you’re sending along a press release, media alert, sample social media post or any other piece of content, make sure it’s clean and free of errors. That will make them more likely to run your story, but it also ensures they don’t get a spook from their editor after they send in something littered with typos.
- Don’t be a deadbeat, respect deadlines– If there’s one way to kill a story, it’s to pitch it when a reporter or editor is up against deadline. Do your research before pitching. Figure out when their deadlines are and pitch accordingly. Many times, daily newspaper deadlines are in the afternoon, so make sure you reach out in the morning when they have less going on. Not even Freddy Krueger would be cruel enough to call a reporter when they’re on deadline.
It all boils down to respect – whether it’s for the media person’s feelings, schedule, workload or anything else. Be sure your name doesn’t haunt them every time it shows up in their inbox or caller ID and success will come your way.
To put it simply, make sure you follow these tips whenever you’re reaching out to the media and you’ll be sure to see more treat than trick – no bones about it!
Looking for more helpful tips? Check out some of our other blogs!