Media Relations Tips

DO:

  • Get used to rejection. Don't take it personally. The same goes for unanswered emails.

  • Be a trusted resource for the reporter. If you offer to be an ongoing source of information, don't back out later.

  • Practice your initial pitch. Write it down, and say it over and over again before you pick up the phone. If you're planning to meet a reporter in person, have some notes written down to refer to.

  • Stay positive. Use short, concise sound bytes.

  • Think about whom you're talking to. If you're speaking about HVAC equipment, be sure the reporter understands what you're trying to explain. Give the reporter the hard copy, or provide it in an email after the interview.

  • State your key messages right up front, and summarize your key points at the end of the interview.

  • Watch your body language and appearance. They speak volumes. Your gestures, facial expressions, and clothing all play a part in the overall perception. Dress conservatively.

  • Control as much of the interview as you can. Understand that the reporter controls what goes into the paper or makes it on the air.

  • Avoid jargon. Always spell out acronyms, and explain accreditations.

  • Be committed to building a relationship that'll last for many years. Chances are, most reporters will be there for a long time.

DON'T:

  • Be afraid. Be confident about what you're pitching. You have to believe in what you're talking about. Be excited about it.

  • Call in the middle of a breaking news story, or when a reporter is on deadline

  • Call reporters with stories you know they'll never cover.

  • Leave five-minute voice mails. Get your voice mail message down to 30 seconds.

  • Pitch a story that's closely related to a story you saw covered in the paper that day.

  • Rely on email as your only form of communication. If you send an email, keep it short. And, don't send attachments or photos. You can send a link to your website, and they'll call if interested.

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