Journalists will insist they can't be swayed by pesky PR pros who follow up repeatedly and generally make a nuisance of themselves. In fact, we've counseled again and again against repeated follow-up calls. But the fact is, there's a difference between calling hourly to check on the status of a release you sent and applying a little pressure when you're sure your information is a perfect fit for a particular media outlet. Lisa Wysocky, president of White Horse Enterprises, a PR firm in Nashville that focuses on entertainers, uncovered this simple truth when she was pitching country music artist Marty Haggard (eldest son of Merle). Haggard was involved in a lobbying effort to pass a mandatory helmet law for bicyclers in Tennessee. Wysocky was pitching Haggard and his cause to "The Teddy Bart Roundtable," an important political radio and TV show in the Nashville market. "I knew my client was well-versed on the subject and could hold his own [in a political discussion], but every pitch I made came back with, 'This is a political forum, not an entertainment show,'" she says. Wysocky began emailing and faxing the show new information every day on Haggard and awareness of the legislation, including copies of press he received after speaking before Congress. "I faxed, called and/or emailed every day for three weeks." Finally, the show's producers caved to Wysocky's endless onslaught of information. "They called and said they would book my client if I promised to stop sending them faxes and emails." Wysocky complied and turned her attention to promoting Haggard's appearance on the show. The segment went so well that the producers invited him back the next week. "While I do not as a rule annoy talent coordinators and media reps, I knew this was a perfect venue for all involved," Wysocky says. "My client's appearance on that program lent him credibility outside country music, gained one of the largest audiences the show had ever seen and helped ensure the passage of an important bill." (Wysocky, 615/353-8662, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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