50 Tips for Better Media Relations Results

by PR Coach on January 7, 2011

Our biggest mashup ever: 50 media relations tips for best results

This is our biggest media relations mashup ever! We’ve got 50 experts sharing tips to help you get better media relations results!

Our experts will help you learn the fine art of media pitching, provide tips on how to pitch bloggers for great results and teach you how to pitch some of the largest and most important media including newspapers, TV and radio. We’ll finish up by letting you know about several excellent, free media relations tools.

In my own experience, media pitching is not rocket science. It is however a fine art and here are my seven suggestions to help make your pitch a masterpiece:

  1. Know who you’re pitching. Watch, listen or read recent articles or blog posts by the target journalist.
  2. Don’t mass e-mail. Give each reporter an individual e-mail or call if they prefer.
  3. Make sure you have real “news” or a unique story angle or idea to present.
  4. Refine your story pitch to any 30-second “hook” with one or two irresistible items for them to consider.
  5. Be selective and offer specific story angles only to a short list of key reporters.
  6. Follow up carefully and briefly with additional information or ideas, without antagonizing or putting off the reporter.
  7. Always say ‘thank you’ if they do a story. A quick e-mail or telephone call will help you build relationships for the future.

Here’s much more from our media relations mavens.

Better Media Pitching Tips

Our series starts with Susan Young who tells how to pitch by e-mail with credibility. Are Exclusives a Good Idea? In a Word: No suggests Paul Gillin. In Dating Advice for PR Pros, Jeremy Porter helps set the ground rules for your important first date, I mean first media pitch. It’s just a phone reminds Mikinzie Stuart and here’s how to use it properly to pitch the media and Heather Whaling serves up 10 Press Release Alternatives.

When it comes to media lists, Tracey Gordon says size really does matter but bigger isn’t usually better when it comes to pitching. Angelo Fernando tells how storytelling instead of canned messaging is much more effective and interesting to both media and the audience. In Don’t ask, don’t tell Rafe Needleman suggests you ask the media if they want to hear the pitch. Are you guilty of media robo-pitching? Get real says Peter Himler!

Marsha Friedman says if you want to get on TV, you have to watch and read the news to know what’s happening and what may interest a TV news producer. Susan Young notes, surprisingly, most media don’t want social media pictures and Jake Potter advises us that one of the best things we can do is to start thinking like a reporter and looking for stories.

If you’re looking for new ways to get media coverage, consider pitching freelance writers says eReleases. Are you wrestling with the challenge of providing product to media for review? Donna Fenn offers a humorous look at Swagapalooza.

Pitching Bloggers

Lisa Barone has five dos and five don’ts for pitching bloggers for media coverage. Jeremy Porter considers the similarities between media pitching and effective blogger relations while Susan Young shares eight best practices to get bloggers interested in your story the right way. If you’re looking for an example of a great pitch, Geoff Livingston shows what was right about one that he received.

Becky Johns talks about how PR people are going to have to up their game and learn how to pitch more than just traditional media. Amy Dean offers 10 excellent media relations tips  to keep the ink flowing. If you’re ever desperately looking for story “hooks” for blogging, writing or media pitching, you must read Henry Devries’ post 27 Hooks for Book Chapters, Articles and Blogs. It’s a terrific resource!

Pitch These Important Media

Curious about nuances and how to pitch specific media outlets? We’ve got the ins and outs of selling a story idea to the influential Associated Press, connecting with The Wall Street Journal This Morning – a syndicated radio show broadcast on 200 radio stations, and placing feature stories in the New York Daily Post.

Winning Media Interview Strategies

Beth Monaghan also reports on the top nine ways companies regularly blow their media opportunities.

If you’re interested in getting on talk radio, Marsha Friedman shares seven terrific radio interview tips to get you talking. When ‘Bite Me’ Is ‘Off the Record’ is the Atlantic’s in-depth look at Rolling Stone’s explosive profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, featuring raw comments and salty language.

Does your company really need a media kit? Not in today’s digital media world says eReleases but links would be smart. Yet, in the “everything old is new again” category, Inc. shows how to put together a press kit with digital components.

How to Avoid Bad Pitches

The Bad Pitch Blog features good examples of bad pitches they’ve received in a bad pitch Hall of Fame presentation. Richard Becker tells a story of how a PR agency blew a media opportunity for their client by not being available for the media callback at the end of a day. David Henderson says some companies put media off by creating “corporate online fortresses” in their online newsrooms which don’t provide important contact information or easy availability of knowledgeable spokespeople.

In Why Do Some Publicists Lie? Drew Kerr offers sage PR advice and answers. Dan Janal has 10 questions you should ask before buying a media list and Jack Santos tells why a pitch to this Gartner analyst is mostly serendipity. And remember, if you’ve got a tenuous story hook, especially one with bad grammar, Bad Pitch Blog says don’t do it!

Useful Media Relations Tools

At The Wooden Horse Magazine News, Editor in Chief/Publisher Meg Weaver and her team cover the world of magazines. The free weekly newsletter has magazine industry news, updates, trends, and always includes new titles and changes in editorial staff. Even better, subscribe to their excellent directory/database.

That’s it for this week’s edition of Friday PR Picks. We hope you enjoyed these media relations experts. If you absolutely can’t get enough media relations tips, we’ve got more than 500 additional tips and resources in the PR Library.

Picture Credit: Telephone Melts via Flickr

Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

Friday PR Picks: Media Relations Advice for PR Pros

4 Ways to Get Your E-Mail Pitch Ignored by News Reporters [Susan Young]
5 Reasons Why the Media Thinks You’re Boring
[Wax Marketing]
5 Dos & Don’ts For Getting Blog Coverage
[Small Biz Trends]
8 Best Practices for Pitching Your Story to a Blogger
[Susan Young]
9 Ways Companies Completely Blow Press Opportunities
[Business Insider]
10 Press Release Alternatives [PRtini]
27 Hooks for Book Chapters, Articles and Blogs [Marketing with a Book]
Anatomy of a Great PR Pitch [Geoff Livingstone]
Are Exclusives a Good Idea? In a Word: No
[Paul Gillin]
Arts Writer Sends 1,400-Word Email on How to Communicate Efficiently
[Gawker]
Bad Pitches Go Grassroots
[Bad Pitch Blog]
Blogger Outreach vs. Media Relations
[Journalistics]
Dating Advice for PR Pros
[Journalistics]
Does My Company Really Need a Media Kit?
[PR Fuel]
Does Size Matter?
[Tracey Gordon]
Dump the ‘pitch,’ find your story!
[Hoi Polloi]
Embracing Original Content
[American Journalism Review]
Failing Pitch: How a PR Firm Can Derail Exposure
[Copywrite, Ink]
How PR People Rebuff the News Media
[David Henderson]
How to Build an Effective Media List That Generates Coverage for You
[PR Leads]
How to Get Press: 10 Ways to Keep the Ink Flowing
[Keyword Communication]
How to Pitch the Associated Press
[AP]
How to Pitch Your News Story to The Wall Street Journal
[Susan Young]
How to Put Together a Press Kit
[Inc.]
If Your Pitch is Rejected, Can You Bring It to Another Reporter in the Same Section?
[Drew Kerr’s PR Rock andRoll]
It’s Just a Phone
[PR Geek Speak]
Land Your Features Story in the New York Post
[BusinessWire]
Local News Reporter Reflects on Tweeting Murder Case
[Lost Remote]
Media Disasters Prove that PR Professionals are Needed
[PR Breakfast Club]
PR Pros Will Have to Pitch More Than the Media
[Becky Johns]
Pro PR Tip #155: Don’t ask, don’t tell
[Pro PR Tips]
Public Relations: The Search for Serendipity?
[Gartner]
Robo Pitch
[The Flack]
Seven PR Secrets for Getting on Talk Radio as a Guest to Promote Your Business
[EMSI]
Small Business PR Lessons from Chilean Miners
[Understanding Marketing]
Start Thinking Like a Reporter
[MMI Public Relations]
Step-by-step Tactics for Making Your Story Pitch Stick
[Healthcare & Marketing Communications News]
Surprise Results: Most Reporters Don’t Want Social Media Pitches
[Susan Young]
The Ten Commandments of the PR World
[10 Yetis]
The Imma Be (Making a Tenuous Link) Pitch
[Bad Pitch Blog]
The Wooden Horse Magazine News

Want to Get on TV? Follow a Daily News Routine to Increase Your Chances
[EMSI]
When ‘Bite Me’ Is ‘Off the Record’
[the Atlantic]
Why Do Some Publicists Lie?
[Drew Kerr’s PR Rock and Roll]
Why You Need to Target Freelance Journalists with Your Press Releases
[eReleases]
Will SWAG Get Great PR For Your New Product?
[BNET]

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