The Go-To PR Pros Blog

Six Reasons Not to Pitch Your News Story

Written by Heidi Smith Wednesday, 08 February 2017 09:35

heidi smith lr 2x3In a recent consultation with the CEO of a technology company, he asked an excellent question. We discussed pitching his company's story to a journalist and why now could be a good time for some coverage.

His question: Is there a reason we wouldn't want to do this?

My answer: Absolutely. Here are six reasons not to pitch your story.

Read more: Six Reasons Not to Pitch Your News Story

 

What Editors Wish Young Journalists Knew, Part III

Written by Heidi Smith Wednesday, 24 February 2016 10:56

heidi smith lr 2x3This is the final installment in a series in which editors reveal what they tell the less experienced journalists in their charge. For public relations professionals who don't have the benefit of newsroom experience, this series will open your eyes.

I've saved the most philosophical offering for last. It's a short-form op/ed that should be required reading in every J-school.

From the Editor: If I could tell new reporters, or people thinking of becoming reporters, one thing, it would be this: It is not a career, or even a temporary pursuit, for people who don't truly believe in the worth of giving the people the information they need. If this sounds too melodramatic to them, if they think it's just a job, then they should do something else.

Read more: What Editors Wish Young Journalists Knew, Part III

 

What Editors Wish Young Journalists Knew, Part II

Written by Heidi Smith Wednesday, 11 November 2015 14:59

heidi smith lr 2x3This is the second in a three-part series interviewing editors about their challenges in coaching less experienced reporters. Public relations professionals can learn a thing or two from viewing the news process through an editor's eyes.

Read more: What Editors Wish Young Journalists Knew, Part II

 

What Editors Wish Young Journalists Knew, Part I

Written by Heidi Smith Friday, 30 October 2015 09:01

heidi smith lr 2x3Public relations professionals deal with journalists of all stripes and skill levels.

We learn quickly who does their homework and writes thoughtful, balanced stories. We also know whose copy requires careful scrutiny to advise reporters, and sometimes editors, on errors that require a public correction now, or just a gentle nudge for future reference.

But what about the editors who hire and coach reporters, especially the less experienced journalists who may not know their beat or the community?

I asked three veteran editors from various types of media what they wish young journalists knew. The responses were customarily direct, and sometimes snarky. 

Here’s installment one of three:

Read more: What Editors Wish Young Journalists Knew, Part I

 

Print Isn’t Dead: 12 Things Printers Need to Know to Estimate Your Job

Written by Heidi Smith Monday, 23 June 2014 07:25

heidi smith lr 2x3As digital content soars in popularity and print becomes less prevalent, fewer people outside the graphic design studio know how to communicate with printers. This ignorance can lead to botched jobs, higher costs and ruined business relationships. Good specs result in good pricing.

Here are 12 things printers need to know to estimate your job:

Read more: Print Isn’t Dead: 12 Things Printers Need to Know to Estimate Your Job

 

When Facebook Has Value: Content Matters

Written by Heidi Smith Tuesday, 16 July 2013 10:40

heidi smith lr 2x3Just when you've absolutely given up on Facebook posts sharing anything that makes a real difference in your day, a brilliant message comes along.

What makes a post resonate? Emily Sperling, U.S. president for the ShelterBox charity, demonstrated her social media gift recently. Look and learn.

Read more: When Facebook Has Value: Content Matters

 

Earn Respect from Journalists with Simple PR Courtesies

Written by Heidi Smith Wednesday, 09 January 2013 11:43

heidi smith lr 2x3Top PR pros know that relationships with journalists are their bread-and-butter. Those relationships are based on mutual respect that grows from a two-way street of simple courtesies and professional work product.

As a PR professional, your work product should be exemplary – that’s a given. But are you applying the same diligence to delivering on courtesy with the journalists in your life?

Read more: Earn Respect from Journalists with Simple PR Courtesies

 

Journalists Dish: Most Annoying Words or Phrases Used in News Releases

Written by Heidi Smith Monday, 27 August 2012 14:59

heidi smith communicationsIn my quest to purge the public relations profession of habits that annoy journalists, I invited some editors and reporters to unload on news release writers.

“What are the most annoying words or phrases used in news releases?” I asked. “Think of content that makes your eyes roll and your finger hover over the delete button.”

Not surprisingly, the journalists were immediately forthcoming. It seems that no one ever asks their opinion on such matters, and since they will not be identified, the respondents were as blunt as they were generous in commenting.

Read more: Journalists Dish: Most Annoying Words or Phrases Used in News Releases

 

How NOT to Approach a Journalist

Written by Heidi Smith Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:25

altThere are ways to absolutely guarantee that your story pitches and news releases will be ignored by editors.

Here’s an email from an editor describing “how NOT to approach editors.” A real-world case, believe it or not: “This PR consultant is demanding, condescending and clueless about what we’re looking for and how many releases we receive. Every time we see this person’s name in our inbox we shudder and delete.”

This is an extreme case of a woefully unprofessional PR person, but it’s real.

Read more: How NOT to Approach a Journalist

 

Seven Tips for Becoming a Go-to News Source

Written by Heidi Smith Monday, 31 October 2011 10:36

altWhat would you think of someone who invited you to a party, and then wasn’t home when you arrived?

That’s exactly how reporters and editors feel when you invite coverage and then fail to respond to inquiries in a timely fashion. Journalists, like party guests, don’t take kindly to what amounts to rudeness. Be a no-show for your own news story, and you can expect the media to ignore your message in the future.

Here are some common-sense reminders on how to be a go-to news source.

Read more: Seven Tips for Becoming a Go-to News Source

 

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