At a recent marketing seminar held at the New Jersey State CPA Society, a local news reporter shared his insights with PR and marketing professionals.
I am repeating some of his suggestions here for you to use- whether you are a small or mid-size firm, if you have something newsworthy to talk about, reporters are interested! Here is what he mentioned:
1. Check out the publication before contacting a reporter. Make sure they are interested in the topics you will be addressing.
2. Check out the individual reporters. Review the masthead of the publication and see what areas they each cover. For example, if you have a unique perspective on an economic issue, ask for the journalist who covers finance or business. Each reporter usually has a "beat" to cover, so be familiar with that information.
3. Call reporters to see what they are working on. If you know something that is happening, a newly evolving issue like a new pronouncement or a change in the tax code that impacts the business community, mention it. Offer to help!
4. Remember that the paper readers are not typically all that interested in your 50th anniversary, or the addition of a new partner to your team. Small, very local neighborhood papers carry this time of information but your daily or weekly business press is probably not very concerned. Don't be self serving; talk to them about information that is relevant to their readers.
5. Be sensitive to press deadlines; know the reporters are often in a hurry and cannot wait for you to return calls. Try to find out when they go to press and schedule your calls to avoid conflict with their deadlines.
6. If your content is really valuable, the journalists typically don't care if you contact them through email or by phone. Some prefer you use both email and a follow up call. Others may not want both an email and a call - so use your discretion.
I hope this helps you stay targeted when working with press - pitch your story to the right people and be sure the information is timely, accurate and meaningful and you will have a good chance of getting good coverage!