Reporters know what telemarketing sounds like

Occasionally, PR people have to cold call on stories.  It’s part of the biz.  Pick up the phone, dial newsrooms and try to get through to the news “decision maker” for coverage.  It’s a tough gig.  Trust me, I’ve worked sales.  I know about cold calling.

But if there is one piece of advice I can offer it would be this:  before you pick up the phone, open your internet browser.

Which scenario do you think is more likely to land coverage?

(1)  “Hi, I’m Trudy from ABC Marketing.  Who there is in charge of booking stories?”

or

(2) “Hi, it’s Trudy from ABC Marketing.  I’ve got an expert that would make for a great interview with John and Joe next week.  Am I correct that Carly does the booking?  When would be the best time to catch her for two minutes so I can share the details?”

The unique thing about the PR-Media relationship is both sides take turns being the client.  Sometimes reporters need help from PR reps getting an interview.  Sometimes PR reps need the Media’s help getting a story on the air.  In this instant, the media is your potential client.

Almost every media outlet these days has a website with some info on their programming and staff.  Use that to your advantage. Take a couple minutes before picking up the phone and figure out if they have any shows / columns / spaces that look like they would be a good fit for your pitch.  Also, see if you can identify an editor or news manager.  That is the person you want to ask for first.

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About consultcolby
A PR Pro with Journalistic background.

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