Calling Journalists, A Necessary Element of Media Relations

December 11, 2017 9:15 am Published by

One-in-three workers in the U.S.  are millennials. If you know a millennial, you know picking up the phone to call someone is the equivalent of pulling out a paper datebook to arrange a meeting. It doesn’t happen. But when it comes to turning a pitch into a media opportunity, it’s often a phone call that seals the deal. Here are a few tips for those in millennials in PR who might be a little wary of picking up the phone. Don’t worry, it’s not as terrifying as you think.However, to get your expert source or information on the reporter’s radar, you will most likely have to pick up the phone and attempt to speak with them. That call can help make your offering standout to reporters as well as give you feedback from reporters that can help with future media outreach.

When picking up the phone to make a call, there are a few ideas that you need to consider:

Plan your message – Know what you want to tell the journalist. If there are multiple points you would like to cover or are new to media outreach, make a few bulleted notes as a reminder.

Realize the time restraints– With smaller newsrooms, journalists are busier and might be on a tight deadline. If a journalist answers, make sure they have a little time to talk and keep your message concise. If they don’t have time, see if there is a better time when you can call back.

Respond in a timely fashion – If a journalist is interested in information or an expert, make sure to be available. If they request additional information or to speak to your expert, try to respond that day. Journalists appreciate and remember responsive sources.

Do your research – Read works by the journalist and engage with them about their content. This lets them know you are invested in what they write before sharing your client’s message. This also includes finding out their preference regarding media outreach.

These concepts accompanied with persistence and effort are great to keep in mind in order to successfully work with the media.

Other related articles:

Skills and Qualities Every PR Pro Needs to Have

Go with the Flow: Adapting PR Strategies to the Changing Media Environment 

Think Like a Journalist When Pitching Your Story Idea

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This post was written by Veronica Mikitka Reed

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