You keep churning out press releases and coming up with what you think are great ideas for media coverage. Sadly, all your efforts have fallen flat and the MD is losing his or her sense of humour.
Here are the Cobb PR top tips for working positively with journalists…
When you email a journalist do not say in the first line ‘hope you are well’. You don’t care whether they are or not and they know you don’t care. They will be interested in a good story but asking about their health will only make them hate you.
Wherever possible offer them an exclusive.
Don’t bother journalists on deadline unless you have something so remarkable they will kill to cover it. When is their deadline – do your research.
Find out what the journalist is interested in. None of them will thank you for wasting their time with something they have zero interest in. Again, do your research.
Don’t ring the journalist to say you’re about to send them an email. If you do they will hate you even more than asking if they are well.
Cut to the chase. Ditch the flannel. Get the deal clincher in the first line. Eight dull pars about very little will make the journo sigh and curse your name – plus, they almost certainly won’t wade through the diatribe to find the newsy bit. They will click Delete.
Get to know the journalist. The days of lunching journalists are pretty much over. All their colleagues have been made redundant by profit hungry corporations so they don’t have time to get jiggy with you. However, they might go for a quick coffee near their office.
Understand the difference between genuine news and an advert. Advertising puff will be sniffed out in a few nanoseconds, even by the newsdesk newbie who makes the coffee.
Use the spell checker at all times.
Consider working with an honest PR agency that isn’t afraid to say when your great story idea is a wrong-un and will only get as far as the company website. Oh, and make sure they are well connected with journalists who don’t hate them.