One of the biggest mistakes made in any conversation is focusing solely on what your needs and concerns are instead of listening to the other person to find out what his or her needs are. You can translate this dynamic to the symbiotic relationship between a PR practitioner and a journalist. A classic mistake made by PR pros in this relationship is focusing on the needs of the brand or client and not paying attention to the specifics needs of individual journalists.
At the recent 4A's Public Relations Forum in New York, Suzanne Vranica, advertising and marketing reporter for the Wall Street Journal; Bob Safian, editor and managing director of Fast Company; and Laura Petrecca, a breaking news reporter for USA Today, shared the kinds of stories that they want PR pros to pitch to them.
1. Consumer insights—data-heavy studies about consumer behavior.
2. Behind-the-scenes details. For instance, details about the meetings behind a merger—what people said and what they ate.
3. Unusual and quirky trends.
4. The "why" of a story, something that shows that the PR pro has done some homework before pitching.
5. Stories about things that don't work, that didn't go as planned.
6. Inside information about how companies reacted to important news.
7. Stories that haven't been seen elsewhere—something that will grab the attention of people hooked on Angry Birds and "Orange Is the New Black."
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