PR advice from a former journalist turned PR pro

Creating close connections with journalists is the path to solid results.

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You talked to a journalist who didn’t include your quote in his article. You’ve left an anchor three messages, and she still hasn’t gotten back to you. You can’t comprehend why none of the 500 outlets you pitched is running your press release.

The lack of response from the news media is enough to make you pull your hair out. As PR pros, we are trained to believe that our potential story is the story that journalists should be begging to use.

A few tips from a former TV reporter/anchor turned PR pro might be all you need to keep you sane (and with a full head of hair).

Don’t use PR-speak. I know all PR pros have a lot of information to get across in a short amount of time. We’re concerned with making sure the people we’re pitching know the who, what, where, when, and why as quickly as possible, but when pitching, step back from PR language and speak like a journalist.

I once worked with a news director who would green-light only those stories that reporters could summarize in one short, concise sentence. Long pitches get ditched, and lengthy email messages will likely be deleted. Be clear and concise; reporters need that brevity in order to get their boss to buy in.

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