The digital age has spawned a massive proliferation of information that can be problematic for PR professionals seeking to score media placements for clients. How can you cut through the clutter and stand dout?
Here are 10 tried and tested tips to follow:
1) Find out who’s moved to what publication or outlet. Keeping track of who is working where is a necessary job that can minimize bouncebacks and wasted outreach.
2) Write catchy subject lines in e-mails. If you want to reach a reporter’s e-mails, write a compelling subject line that will pique his or her interest.
3) Don’t send out generic e-mails to a whole list of reporters. Personalize your pitch letter or note and keep it simple.
4) Cut down on usage of exaggerated adjectives such as“breakthrough” or “revolutionary.” Don't make overblown claims that can’t be substantiated.
5) Practice your voicemail messages before you call a reporter. Work up talking points that ensure you won’t forget what you’re trying to recommend.
6) Set goals for yourself of getting a minimal amount of placements for each pitch or release you send.
7) Remember that selling a story is just that — sales. You must use the techniques of a salesperson. To succeed, you have to make a lot of “cold calls” to people you only meet on the phone.
8) Take rejection gracefully but not too gracefully. Sometimes it pays to be a sore loser. But never be abusive to a member of the media. They will always remember. You always get more results with kindness.
9) Never underestimate the power of personal meetings. If you actually can network and meet reporters, developing that human connection and seeing them in another setting can create a relationship that could well serve you for years to come. Follow a reporter’s career. Maintain contact with them even after they’re written their story for your account.
10) Don’t lie. If you don’t know an answer to a reporter’s question, don’t pretend you do just to keep them on the phone. If you don’t know something, tell the reporter you’ll get back to him or her.
These tips were written by Charlotte Tomic who heads the Tomic Communications, a Miami-based public relations agency.