3 Questions PR Pros Should Ask Before They Hit ‘Send’


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"We don’t cover that sector anymore." "You might want to try a different media outlet." "We would need some more information in order to consider this."

These are just a few of the replies that PR pros probably get when their media pitches fail to get any bites from reporters and editors.

PR pros, of course, are scrambling to knock out media releases (or other written communications) and distribute the content across myriad channels. Yet despite the need for speed, PR pros need to first ask a simple question: So what?

The question may seem a bit banal. However, if you take a step back, and answer it honestly you can boost the odds of getting your written materials read by the right journalists and getting your brand precious media coverage.

At the very least, the question will get you to think more selectively when it comes to where you distribute media releases, etc.

With that in mind, here are three questions that you should ask to help you determine the “so what” factor in your written communications, with a hat tip to Sabrina Kidwai, senior manager of public relations at the American Society of Association Executives.

> What are the key takeaways of the program or product?

> How can this product relate to the readers of the media organization? Is there a return on investment for the target audience? For example, will it help the readers increase efficiency, customer service, information about patients, etc.? Secondary research will help you understand how to position your product better toward the media organization.

> How can you personalize it?

According to Kidwai, these questions will not just help the media understand the value—it will help the target audience, too.

Which question would you add to the list?

Learn more about media relations practices in PR News’ Media Relations Guidebook Vol. 2.

Follow Sabrina Kidwai on Twitter: @packersgirl

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1



About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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