December 28, 2010
/ by Frank Strong
The phone rings.
“Hi, my name is Jimbo and I just saw your press release. We work with news outlets like CNN, ABC and FOX to produce news stories for national distribution and I’m working on a story now for which your company seems like a good fit.”
Sounds great right? You’ve spent some time and effort putting together a solid news announcement, you distributed it over PRWeb and now you’ve got a call in response. But there’s a catch – the caller works with, not for big name news outlets.
The catch is it costs money. This is a pay-for-play call and it’s disingenuous: No respectable news organization will ever ask you to pay for news coverage. Doing so would comprise the integrity of the news outlets and devalue the veracity of news coverage.
These schemes come with varying stories, but in all cases, they use a recognizable brand name of a news outlet to string you along. Once they get you hooked and have your interest, they insert the catch. I spoke to one PRWeb customer – an unsuspecting small business – recently who got a call like this and the caller wanted a ridiculous sum – $15,000 to do a story.
Of course, I advised the small business owner against taking the caller up on the offer, and after looking at his news release, which was pretty interesting, gave him a few tips for what types of reporters might be interested in his news.
I’ve done PR for a long time now, and I still get these calls. The callers are adamant and call you back multiple times with slightly different pitches. Sometimes the caller tries to pressure you by saying they are on deadline and you have to agree right away.
If you’re a Vocus customer too, you can check the database to see if it’s a legitimate news contact. If you’re not, a Google search should allow you to verify that it’s a real news station. PRWeb wants to help you get your news out, but we don’t want you to get caught in this scam.
Our advice? Buyer beware. Don’t waste your time with Jimbo.
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