Tag Archives: media relations

Sharing News With the Media While Befriending Journalists

10 Apr

Ch. 10-11 Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

The primary ways of distributing news to media outlets are as follows:

  • e-mail
  • online newsrooms
  • electronic newswires
  • mat distribution companies
  • photo placement firms

When sending news via e-mail, be sure to:

  1. Write a descriptive subject line, not just FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  2. Do not attach files unless requested because of the risk of viruses
  3. Place useful information at the top of the news release
  4. Use bullet points for key points
  5. Don’t make your reader scroll because that means it is way too long
  6. Don’t let the person see who the e-mail was sent to because they wouldn’t want to see other reporters addressed.
  7. As with any other news release, spell check, grammar check, punctuation check. NO ERRORS ARE ACCEPTABLE!

Photo Placement Firms such as Newscom provide high-resolution photos for registered journalists and editor to choose from.

At times news releases that are e-mailed may be accompanied by a link to a photo on Newscom that illustrates the story.

Building Relationships with Journalists

It is important for Public Relations Professionals to build relationships with the journalists they work with because humans are not alway in work mode. Relationships require a human aspect. Talk about something other than your product or your company!

Friction between PR people and Jounalists

On the PR side:

  • Too much hype
  • Not doing homework on subject
  • Being nuisances

On the Journalistic side:

  • Sloppy/biased reporting
  • Name-calling
  • Tabloid sensationalism

Things to be aware of:

  1. It is inappropriate to invite a reporter to lunch unless you plan to discuss a potential story.
  2. Don’t ask a journalists when the story will be used because they probably don’t even know IF it will be used at all. It is also annoying to be asked that.
  3. Don’t make a reporter’s phone ring off the hook.
  4. Don’t give extravagant gifts. Stick to the value of a T-shirt or coffee mug, etc.

“If it’s worth over $20, I can’t accept it. If it’s worth under $20, it’s crap and I don’t want it.”

-AP editor in response to a question asked by  PR personnel