We’re in a world of increasingly mobile journalists. Want to know how to read that? Replace “mobile” with “busy.” That’s it. Being mobile means having a million things to do, and more than ever before, journalists are being asked to do a million times more with a million times less.
Here are a few tips on how best to reach this new breed of journalist.
Forget the phone, and forget emails longer than three paragraphs. Forget graphics or files. Chances are, the journalist is reading your email on a mobile device. Remember the last time you read a long email with embedded graphics and attached files? Of course you don’t, because you didn’t read it.
Keep emails to three paragraphs. Keep links to a minimum, and never embed a graphic. The first paragraph should draw them in, the second paragraph to have the details and the third paragraph to have your contact information. That’s it. Keep it simple, and you’ll get a reply. Too much info? Unreadable? See ya.
Know your journalists before you pitch. Do they check in every morning at the gym at 5 a.m.? If he or she is early riser, pitch them in the morning. Do they Instagram nightclub photos every evening? Chances are you’ll want to grab them in the afternoon. Knowing your journalist gives you a much better chance of getting them to listen to you. It also shows them you took the time to do your homework. That matters.
Peter Shankman is founder of Help a Reporter Out, one of the largest source repositories in the world, with more than 250,000 sources connecting daily with hundreds of thousands of journalists (http://helpareporter.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Peter Shankman: @Petershankman