When it comes to getting good PR for your company, reaching out to reporters is one of the biggest obstacles that you will likely face. There are so many different PR approaches to getting the attention of a reporter, and while it is true that recognition form the right reporter can mean major coverage for your company, there are many individuals who unfortunately go about the process of getting media attention the wrong way. So many reporters are so overwhelmed with calls, emails and inquiries from company owners wanting to get their business featured that their days can become beyond chaotic, to say the least.
Unfortunately, as many business owners have discovered in the past, getting on a journalists bad side is not a good way to get the media attention they are looking for. Here are some tips from reporters to keep in mind if you want to get their attention without invading on their privacy.
Don’t Call Unless The Reporter Asks You To
So many people abide by the “follow up phone call” rule and will call reporters excessively after they send a pitch email to see if they are going to get coverage. However, with so many calls coming in during the day on top of the challenge of meeting deadlines, most reporters do not have the time to deal with calls, or multiple calls, from every person that sends them a pitch. Calling at all hours of the night, leaving long voicemails with pitches or calling several times in a row is not the way to get positive attention from a reporter. If you want to follow up, send a follow up email.
Don’t Use Social Media Accounts for Personal Requests
Social media has really changed the way that reporters are able to reach out to the masses and promote their stories. However, social media has also changed the way that many PR agencies are starting to get inquiries about pitches. Avoid bombarding reporters’ Twitter and Facebook pages or contacting them on their wall to see if they got your pitch or for information on who you can contact for more information. Do not start filling up their walls with inquiries or personal messages, you can friend them on a social media site, but don’t take it any farther.
Give Them Time
You may be very excited about a pitch you have in the works, and very disappointed if you don’t get an email response right away after you send an email. Give your pitch some time before you start following up. While being persistent can sometimes be helpful, being aggressive can be too much. One follow up email is typically enough, but make sure that you give the reporter some time to get through all of their pitches and respond to you first. Reading pitches is only one small part of their daily demands, and they likely have countless similar emails to get through. You may be in a rush to get some media attention, but you can’t expect reporters to get back to you within minutes, or hours, of receiving your email.
There is no denying that pitching to the media can be extremely frustrating, and many times it can be easy to feel desperate enough to try anything to get a reporter’s attention. However, making bold moves with reporters can often cross the line and make reporters feel violated. Keep these tips for communicating with reporters in mind next time you have a pitch for the media as following these guidelines can often do more good for you than harm in the long run.