What Journalists Want From You

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You want something from journalists. You want them to write about your brand. Put your name in shining lights. Make you famous, if only for 15 minutes. But what do they get out of it?

Just like with any relationship, there has to be some give and take. Here’s how you can give journalists what they want.

Be Attentive

Pitching a journalist you’ve never read, getting coverage, and then never interacting again is the equivalent of a PR one night stand. Who wants to be used like that?

Instead, show that you’re a supportive contact from the start. Begin by reading a journalist’s content and commenting on it — but don’t just comment to be there; invest time in writing really thought-provoking comments that enhance a reader’s experience with that article.

Show Social Support

Social - Media Outreach

Even before you get a journalist to write about you, show that you can be a good social media buddy by sharing her content with your network. Include a thoughtful update that will entice your followers to click the link and read the article. If you can drive traffic to her content, she’ll be grateful (and more likely to write about you later).

Want to wow reporters with your pitches? Check out pitching coach Michael Smart’s webinar now!

Make Covering Your Brand a Cinch

Journalists hate it when you pitch them and then don’t respond when they ask for more information. Or make them have to hunt to get all the details of your company. First of all, you should have a media page. There, you should house all the information they’ll need to write about you, including:

  • Boilerplate for your company
  • Links to press releases
  • Logo and photos of your product
  • Contact information

If a journalist has to waste valuable time looking for this, she won’t cover you. Guaranteed.

Keep Your Pitch Emails Simple

Consider your pitch the worm that hooks a journalist. Either she’ll be interested in your story, or she won’t. Writing a 1,000-word email won’t convince her if she doesn’t find the story engaging enough to cover.

Keep your email succinct. Introduce yourself and your company, then give her the one-liner on your news. Include up to 3 bullets on why the news is relevant to her readers, and add a link to your press release on it. She is smart enough to know if she wants more information she can email you!

Know Their Name

My Name Is - What Reporters Want

There’s nothing worse than getting an email addressed to “Dear Editor,” or even another person’s name. Would you want to keep reading if you got an email like that? It only takes a few minutes to find out who you’re writing. Isn’t the possibility of getting PR worth it?

Journalists just want to be treated with a little respect. Give it to them, and you’ll amplify your chance of getting press.

Want to pitch journalists better? Use this free “10 Do’s and Don’ts of Media Pitching” tip sheet now!

Images: Martin Gysler, Emily Rose / Tako Fibers (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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