51 Masterful Media Relations Tips for PR Pros

by PR Coach on April 7, 2011

How’s your media pitching? Pro or so so?

We’ve put together 51 masterful media relations tips to help you prepare stories that media can’t resist and to help you pitch them like a pro.

No curve balls or knuckleballs here. Just media pitching tips you can use.

To put the following media relations experts in context, here are 10 of my own top tips to get you started:

  1. Follow a wide range of reporters in the traditional and social media. Get to know their interests, their recent stories and what they may be working on.
  2. Know the unique differences between pitching newspaper, TV, radio, blogs and other social media.
  3. Always respect deadlines.
  4. Never mass pitch a story idea. Try to customize each individual pitch.
  5. Think about visuals. Even newspaper websites are using photos and video these days.
  6. If you’re going to use a news release, make it a winner. Throw away those corporate quotes and use storytelling for better results. Link freely to additional resources to help the reporter with context.
  7. If you’re an “expert”, always have a handful of talking points at hand in case you get a media call or inquiry through social media that requires a quick response.
  8. Never ever pay to appear on TV, radio or in newspaper.
  9. You’re “never” off the record.
  10. Bloggers need careful research and pitching.

Media relations is both an art and a science. It does get easier with practice but it requires research, creativity, finding the real news or story hook, persuasiveness and, most important, tenacity. Appetite whetted? Let’s hear from our experts.

Watch for PR Coach winners, articles worth reading and marked with W.

Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

Best Media Relations Tips

3 Easy Ways to Guarantee Bad Media Coverage [MMI]
Avoid these media relations gaffes at all costs.

3 Ways to Publicize Without a Publicist [Open Forum]
Good do-it-yourself publicity tips.

5 Ways for Small Companies to Better Engage Reporters [Mashable]
Here are five very practical, valuable tips for better media relations results.  W

6 Ways to Ruin Your Chances of Getting Free Publicity [Shonali Burke]
Practical media relations tips to get it right:

10 Press Release Alternatives [PRtini]
Heather Whaling serves up 10 excellent options for media relations when a press release is not enough.  W

A Brief Tale of an Unsolicited, Off-Topic, Embargoed Pitch [Shel Holtz]
The ins and outs of embargoes, media and blogger relations from Shel Holtz.

Anybody Can Send Out a Press Release [PR Rock and Roll]
No substitute for media relationships writes Drew Kerr.

Blogger Relations Misconceptions [Fresh Ideas]
Here are some smart blogger pitching tips from BurrellesLuce.

Bloggers or Press, Who Should You Pitch? [Social Fresh]
On the other PR hand, why not both?

Can’t We All Just Get Along? – Good Reporters Keep PR Contacts Close [PR Breakfast Club]
Media relations cuts both ways.

Creating, leaving an impression in today’s fast-paced media [Linda Forrest]
Excellent tips for better media relations in a social media world.  W

Don’t Pitch, Connect. News Discovery and the New PR [Valeria Maltoni]
Valuable media insight on news and connecting with great content by Valeria Maltoni.  W

Eight Tips to Pitch Media Better on Twitter [Spin Sucks]
These tips will get you pitching media better on Twitter.

Feeling low? Don’t blame Blue Monday [The Guardian]
Publicity stunts: Bullsh*t is a slippery slope.

Five Steps to Get on a Talk Show [Entrepreneur]
Practical media relations advice and talk show tips.

Gabrielle Giffords: When the Media Blows It [Brad Phillips]
Brad Phillips shows how to respond when media makes a mistake in a breaking story.

Good News, Bad News [The New York Times]
Does bad publicity really hurt? Ask the Gap.

How to Beat the Media in the Climate Street Fight [Climate Progress]
You CAN correct the record with the media.

How to Build a Successful Media Relationship – Getting Back to Basics [Erin Smith]
Great media relationships = great media results.

How to Pitch a Publicist [PR Breakfast Club]
This post makes sense after reading.

How to Pitch Food Bloggers [Open Forum]
Great tips on how to find and pitch food bloggers well.  W

How to Stop Paying for Broadcast Media Clips and Get them Free [Seth O’Dell]
Practical tips and smart advice.

Integrating PR: How Media Relations Has Changed [Rich Becker]
Rich Becker looks at how social media makes media relations different today.

Journalists Are Not Gods, Nor Do They Live on Mt. Olympus [HRB Ideas]
Savvy, practical media relations advice from HRB.

Know your story and you’re halfway there [Tracey Gordon]
How to find stories and pitch effectively from Tracey Gordon.

Look far beyond your topic for publicity ideas [Joan Stewart]
Some useful media relations, PR ideas from Joan Stewart.

Make Your Press Materials User Friendly [PR Breakfast Club]
User-friendly media materials get results.

Media is Changing, Is Your Approach? (Video: 3:36) [Bad Pitch Blog]
Here’s a look at how media channels are changing and how PR must change as well.  W

Media Relations Tips for Landing a Television Placement [Blogging Authors]
Practical advice on how to get a TV appearance.

People Are Talking in Press Releases, But Is Anyone Listening? [The Buzz Bin]
Six tips to help you improve your news release.

PublicRelations remains focused on media relations [Heather Yaxley]
Thoughtful reflection on PR by Heather Yaxley.  W

Seeking out sources, made transparent on Twitter [Nieman Lab]
Fascinating media view of AZ shooting.  W

Seven PR Secrets for Getting on Talk Radio as a Guest to Promote Your Business [EMSI]
Marsha Friedman shares seven terrific radio interview tips.  W

“She has beautiful eyes, and her hair smells like cinnamon” [The Media Blog]
Research: Are female anchors a news distraction?

Should I Pay to Be on TV? [PR Leads]
Here’s a disturbing media relations trend. Of course, the answer is “never.”

So, What Do Reporters Really Want from PR People? [Tracey Gordon]
Tracey Gordon shares four tips to get reporters onside.  W

Step-by-step Tactics for Making Your Story Pitch Stick [PR Daily]
Jeremy Porter tells how to pitch properly to media.  W

Ten Commandments of Book Media Relations [Henry DeVries]
Useful media relations tips from Richard Laermer and Michael Prichinello.

The Death of Traditional Online “Newsrooms” [David Henderson]
David Henderson shows how to create an effective news site.

The Facebook PR Mess with 60 Minutes [Spin Sucks]
Media relations insight: How not to do media relations “exclusives.”

The Two Critical Elements of the Perfect Media Pitch [BNet]
If you know these two elements, your pitch will be successful.

The virtual and human press office touch [Steve Earl]
The PR touch is important in the online newsroom.

Think Like a Reporter for More PR Wins [Journalistics]
Thinking like a reporter will help you pitch stories more effectively.  W

Using Online Smarts to Become a Media Source [BNet]
Valuable media relations tips,

We can’t guarantee coverage, but we can try bloody hard to get it [10 Yetis]
Tips on how to improve your pitching results.

Why Going “Off the Record” Is a Dumb Idea [Brad Phillips]
What he said! Sage media relations advice from Brad Phillips.

What are your biggest media relations challenges? Any other pitching tips you’d like to share? Throw a few our way in the comments below.

We’ve got 550+ media relations and public relations resources in our growing PR Library which features more than 7,000 tips, articles and insights of value to PR pros. And, don’t forget to sign up for the PR Coach blog or add us to your RSS reader.

Photo Credit: Waldo Jaquith via Flickr

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