Remember Fax blasts? OK, I may be a little older than some, but this was the main way of reaching ‘the media’ if you were a Public Relations professional. A Fax blast or broadcast was where a “carefully crafted” press release would go out to hundreds of media outlets using up paper in an obscene amount on the other end. Without any follow-up you would never know if it reached the intended recipient or not. Some folks still use them, we no longer have a fax machine.Now, the ease to contact media professionals is many and varied: Email, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Seeks & Shouts, and more! unfortunately what this means is media is being bombarded with massive amounts of pitches and no one is listening. I had one journalist recently tell me, she had so many emails, it was too much to read them, and so she would delete them all without even reading one. Great! So much for carefully crafted messages.
I like email – more space to write my pitch – and I use the old-fashioned method of calling journalists and pitching my story. But before I send anything or phone anyone, I research my target – read the reporter’s last three articles and/or watch a week of shows on a targeted program. DVR is a wonderful thing. The major complaint from the media is that no one tries to get to know them before pitching the story idea. So I try.
This little video by Adam Shirk SEO and PR Consultant was picked up by The Mud Rack Blog, a site for the media to vent, pick up information and generally discuss their craft. Seems Adam hit a note within the journalist community. Where I didn’t agree with Mud Rack that it was hilarious, it was interesting to watch.
I found the video fascinating as it was the written word turned into a video cartoon. So where the message was not new, the format was a new way of delivery. And, as a new way of saying something we all have heard before, it made one think and that is a good thing.
I like being personal so I still address my messages to the journalist by name. No. I don’t do Mail Merge. I follow-up my emails, Twitter or Facebook with a phone call. Most importantly, before I start sending anything, I complete a thorough research for my clients in order to target the proper media professional for the correct pitch that fits. If I am wrong, I apologize and move on.