5 ways to get on a reporter’s blacklist

Want to make sure reporters never run your stories? For starters, send them something they can’t use and forget to proofread.

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It’s probably because you committed one of the following five things that drive journalists crazy. Try to avoid these at all costs:

1. Send them stuff they can’t use.

You sent a wonderful pitch to Doggie Power magazine that detailed the release of your new product. Unfortunately, your company makes power converters. The reporter from Doggie Power crumpled up the release and angrily tossed it in the garbage. The reporter knew you just pulled his publication out of a random keyword search and didn’t even bother to read its guidelines.

When you send press releases and other information, make sure the media outlet fits. You’d be surprised how many press releases newspapers and newsrooms get that have nothing to do with what they report. Do your research first.

2. Forget to proofread.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but make sure to proofread your work before you send it. If your press release has spelling errors or is incoherent babble, no one will print it—ever. Go over your writing a few times, and let someone else read it. Then read it again and edit it some more. Don’t let even the smallest error show up. It hurts your credibility and irks reporters.

3. Tell a reporter you sent the press release to someone else.

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