Contacting the media

There are a few key things to know about the media (and I’m talking primarily about magazine journalists here). They aren’t tricky or difficult, just very, very busy so make sure you are prepped to pitch quickly and succinctly.

This is a skill that PR’s learn over years so don’t expect to become an expert straight away.

These top tips should help you crack calling your key media and result in you securing coverage for your crafty product or service.

  1. Know who you’re calling. If you have a news story i.e. you have opened a new store, the first of its kind in the area call the news editor. If you have a product story i.e. you’re launching a new craft kit, call the shopping or crafts editor. Don’t call the actual editor of the magazine. Chances are they won’t be in and won’t be interested in taking your call! If all else fails, ask to speak to the editorial assistant, who will be able to direct you to the right department.
  2. Do your research. This isn’t a cold call. You have a product which you know the journalist will be interested in hearing about. That’s because you regularly read the page they write, you know who your competitors are and you know that your product will fit perfectly onto their page
  3. Write a script. It’s quite scary calling someone you don’t know and ‘pitching’ yourself to a journalist. I find a mini script with all the key points I want to make really helps me stay cool and calm
  4. Write an e-mail to the journalist. Nine times out of ten, the person you speak to will ask you to send them an e-mail. Make sure you have this ready to go as soon as you put the phone down. You don’t want to be forgotten!
  5. Smile! It really helps your tone of voice and makes you feel more confident
  6. Have a pen and paper handy. The person on the other end will be able to tell you who to e-mail or call if they aren’t the right person
  7. Follow up straight away with an e-mail
  8. Try and find the person on social media and follow them. Tweet them a quick ‘hi, nice to talk to you’ message
  9. If you don’t hear back, try following up a few days later with another call.

Now, go and make that call. Good luck!

If there’s anything you’d like to know about PR, writing or social media copy and content, drop me a line via the comments and I’ll write a post on it.

 

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