Cracking that first story for a PR professional is tough! Even tougher is to do the second and third …! Why? Because you have to set an excellent benchmark the first time around and always …always…aim to raise it or at least meet it with every story. This might sound tough but it is actually quite simple and attainable if you keep in mind these 5 things while interacting with journalists:
New ideas :
After cracking the first story let that media peg go. Just because it worked the first time, it is not necessary that it will work again! Don’t ever sell the same story twice to the same journalist or publication. Journalists live and breathe for an exclusive. Since the journalist has already done a story on your client remember s/he is suitably impressed with them. All the more reason for you to get back to the brainstorming room and come back to them with a brilliant media peg that will make them want to do another story. Work on new ideas. Be ruthless with your clients if you need to be. The respect that you earned in the first story will only last till the next one you bring them. Make sure the next one helps you raise the bar a little higher.
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Send in your profiles and pitches in the correct order in your email. Include any extra information about the client. Connect with the journalist in advance to check with his/her requirements and make sure to provide all of it within their deadline. Always check with them on their email size limit before sharing profile pictures. Most publications have a limit. If your images are heavier than that then provide a drop box link or share it on a pen drive.
The media has set deadlines. It’s a matter of print or no print for them. So we cannot take chances of them missing the deadlines. Respect their deadlines more than your own. They have got to do more than just writing one story and each story requires edits and approvals on their end too before it goes to print. A deadline is sacrosanct for a journalist when it comes to filing stories and you need to respect it. Disrespect the deadline at your own peril. Peril of losing not just the story but also the journalist’s respect.
Exclusive stories :
Everyone wants a breaking story. But seldom can we as PR professionals give it every time and to everyone. If you promise an exclusive then stick to it. If you cannot give one let them know in advance and do your best to give them a different angle to the story that they can explore and supplement it with as much juice as possible.
Don’t nag :
The pitch is delivered. The mail is sent. The connection is complete. They have told you they will come back to you. This doesn’t mean 24 hours. Give them ample of time if it is not time bound , at-least a couple of days before you contact them again. They need to get some clarity too. So don’t nag 24/7. Imagine hearing 100’s of pitches daily.Even you wouldn’t respond to each one immediately. Give them their space and time to respond to you. Every time they respond within the time you expected let them know you appreciate it – on email and in person. Trust me, it is appreciated from the other end too.
A simple ‘thank you’ to the journalist will work wonders for you. While collecting accolades from the client remember that the journalist is the director of the movie and is the most crucial element to the entire endeavour ! A note of thanks and appreciation will ensure you are remembered well and fondly when you go in with your next pitch.