Press Sings a Familiar Tune: It’s All About Relationships

They're hard to contact and easy to annoy, so dealing with them
requires a delicate balance. Editors, reporters, correspondents and
producers who, for communication execs, often spell the difference
between a PR story that gets heard and one that's buried in the
avalanche of failed PR pitches. In several contributed pieces from
a disparate group of journalists (and one PR executive who has
played both sides of the fence) PR NEWS offers PR pros a few doses
of tough love. The advice contributors provide doesn't exactly come
from the tablets. But with PR pros either unwilling (or incapable)
of responding to reporters' fundamental needs, such guidance never
seems to go out of style: be honest, treat the relationship with
respect and, most important for dealing with reporters who are
increasingly under the gun, don't make any promises you can't
deliver. Another consensus is not to take a rejection of a story
pitch too personally. As Jennifer Smith, an entertainment reporter
with Teen People makes clear, if your first couple of pitches land
with a thud get the blueprints back out and try to come up with an
alternative angle. Of course, the best way to minimize rejections
is to cultivate, nurture and build relationships with members of
the media and -- as the accompanying story on e-mail pitches makes
clear - think like a journalist rather than simply try to schmooze
one.