Friday, July 24, 2009

Why you aren’t getting media coverage

I’ve seen the way you write press releases – XYZ company, makers of ABC and the leading educator (whatever) in the field and the best company in the world (on for 100 words) announces nothing you’re really interested in but sent out this press release to charge clients for services they don’t really need and won’t bring in any money. Our interns (unpaid and the majority of our staff) will be calling you day and night until you run this.

Here’s what Pam Baker wrote on Ragan, I look for responses that are conversational, not robotic, over-thought, or chockfull of legalese. I look for valuable insights and skip propaganda or product pitches. Speak in terms of your industry, not your product.

Accept that fact of journalism. Make your answers relevant to your industry and the question(s) posed. Put your product and company info in a boilerplate paragraph beneath your answers. In the off chance I think your product is relevant to the story, I’ll pull the info from your boilerplate.

Ms. Baker admitted she gets most of her quotes from emails. I’ve been in the journalism game for more than 40 years. Most of my quotes now come from Twitter, yet here’s how one professional responded to Ms. Baker’s post, “I've been a newspaper and magazine reporter, and then a freelance reporter for close to 20 years and I've never heard of a story writing process like this before. Nothing really wrong with it I guess just different (SIC).

“I can't imagine quoting a source without actually talking to him or her, but I learned the craft before the World Wide Web, e-mail and HARO existed, so phone calls and face-to-face interviews were a must. I also think that ‘real’ quotes sound so much more natural and tend to be more exciting than carefully crafted written quotes.”

You wonder why companies are dying – here’s a classic example of someone who is clueless in 1/3 of a year it is the SECOND DECADE of the 21st Century.

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