Last night, a few of us had the pleasure of attending Pub Club of New England’s Boston’s Media Best event at the Museum of Science. This event featured an elite group of panelists:
- Jon Chesto – Boston Business Journal
- Walter Frick – BostInno
- Paul McMorrow – Boston Globe and CommonWealth Magazine
- Frank Quaratiello – Boston Herald
- Cara Rubinsky – The Associated Press
The reporters discussed the shifting media landscape and their personal preferences on dealing with US – PR Professionals – such as the importance using Twitter, knowing who to pitch and how you can be a valuable source that stands out from the inbox clutter! Here are our favorite tips from the night:
Ashley’s Favorite Tip – Relationship building is key. I like to think of this tip as the Golden Rule of PR. While this may seem like a given, all five panelists gave great advice and reminders about how to foster long-lasting relationships. Do your homework, and make sure you have a full understanding of what your contacts are writing about, when they’re on deadline, and approach them with stories they’ll be receptive to at a time that’s convenient for them. They also encourage PR pros to approach them with larger trend stories, and appreciate any thoughts or ideas you might have (even if it’s not specific to the client you’re pitching). They’re even open to in-person meetings, and would be very receptive to a coffee invitation to chat about your story ideas. Following this Golden Rule will not only make you stand out, it will work to cultivate mutually fulfilling relationships.
Talia’s Favorite Tip – “Don’t call me (and no, I probably won’t call you.)” It was unanimous – all 5 of our panelists echoed that we should not be calling them to pitch over the phone. They view it as disruptive, and in every case would prefer an email pitch, or a lead via Twitter. They all agreed that Twitter is becoming a fantastic source of news for them, and that they’ll often pull ideas straight from their feed (over their morning cereal, especially). To get their attention? DM, or tweet a link and tag their handle as a soft-sell. They also encouraged PR pros to “Tweet your Beat.” If you’re posting interesting content on a regular basis, you’ll also be viewed more as a source than a salesman. Do they find follow-up annoying? Not at all – but send an email, don’t call.
Melissa’s Favorite Tip – Videos are IMPORTANT! According to Cara Rubinsky, the New England news editor at the Associated Press, they have to submit one per day, so they are always interested in receiving videos. Now keep in mind it can’t be too self promotional, but a video about a new, interesting product or service is what they are looking for. As Cara said, think about what type of video YOU would click to watch, and that’s what they are looking for. Videos with cats? Yup, they are interested!
What do you think? Do you have other tips to add? Leave your thoughts, comments and ideas below!
P.S. A special thanks to the Pub Club for holding such a great event and to all the reporters who participated!