It’s just not as effective as it used to be to send form e-mails or blanket the world with wire releases. Personal relationships with reporters are key, and it’s significantly more dangerous for PR professionals to get on the bad side of a blogger than it is to anger a reporter via snail mail. Instead, use these tips to contact the bloggers and reporters who want your story:
- The art of the pitch e-mail: The key is to personalize e-mails to every blogger. Use their name and mention one of their previous pieces (if applicable) that ties into your press release. Use humor and casual, friendly language in e-mails. Prove that your information will help them personally to do a better job or find resources; and,
- HARO (Help a Reporter Out): New media is about generating trust; this listserv helps reporters network with PR professionals based on stories with which the reporter needs help. As long as you “play nice” (stay on the reporter’s topic instead of pushing a different one), you can develop lasting relationships with reporters who see you as help, not an annoyance. ProfNet is also an effective tool to reach reporters
These tips were written by Chris Johnson, founder and CEO of dna13 in Ottawa, Ontario and a former PR practitioner in the telecom industry in Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.