Talking to the media can be daunting but you can make it a bit easier for yourself. Once you reach the reporter on the phone, remember that they’re extremely busy and probably on deadline. Be courteous, and ask if they have time to talk. If not, offer to call back at a more convenient time. If the reporter can talk to you, keep your initial pitch to 20 seconds; afterward, offer to send written information to support your story ideas.
The following tips will boost your chances of success:
- If a reporter rejects your idea, ask if they can recommend someone else who might be interested.
- Know exactly what you’re going to say before you telephone the reporter. Have it written down in front of you—it’s easier, and you’ll feel more confident.
- Be persistent. Remember, not everyone will be interested. If your story idea is turned down, try to find out why and use that information to improve your next pitch.
- Don’t be a pest. You can easily be persistent without being annoying. Use your instincts; if the reporter sounds rushed, offer to call back. Daily newspaper reporters face deadlines in the early afternoon. It’s best to call between about 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Be helpful and become a resource by providing reporters with information. Remember, they need your story ideas. There are only so many they can come up with on their own.
- Say thank you. When you succeed in getting publicity for your business, always write a thank-you note to the reporter who worked on it with you. You’d be surprised how much a note means (and how few of these reporters receive).
And that’s it for our three part ultimate PR cheat sheet!! We hope it was / will be useful!
Courtesy of Entrepreneur Media Inc.