Powerful PR Tips From Top Publicists


If you’re wondering how to spread the news about your small business, grab your pen and take notes. The PR cheat sheet below is filled with powerful tips to help you promote your business like a Public Relations pro.

We asked publicists from around the world to share their top tips for getting media coverage. If you need to know how to craft your pitch, or what’s the most effective way to approach a journalist… keep reading.

Get the media attention you want with these powerful PR tips:

1. Pitch in the mornings. Editors do most of their assigning before 11:00. They are looking for stories. Know the reporter that you are pitching. Find out the kinds of stories they like to write. If you can’t sell the reporter, it ends there. Know what the news peg is. It needs to be relevant and not self serving. -Stephanie Ward

2. Avoid pitching on deadline days or times. They should not call to ask if they received the pitch; only follow up after a few days to discuss the idea. They should make the pitch brief and not bury the idea - get to the point of your pitch. To encourage journalists to write about their business, they should look for trends, offer tips and focus on what people want to hear about; something new! -Leslie Friedman

3. Understand the reporter, what type of stories they cover, and then make their news newsworthy to the reporters’ readers. Just because you changed location or joined the chamber of commerce, that does not news make. -Susana Alvarez-Diaz

4. Keep it short and simple. Don’t try to write the entire story for the reporter in your pitch. Reporters don’t have time to slog through long, drawn out pitches with too much information. Many times reporters will only read the first two sentences of a pitch, so get to your news hook quickly and use the rest of the pitch as supporting information. You want to tease up the news or information you want to share with the reporter to pique their interest. -Andy Prince

5. Don’t make it an advertisement for your business. Reporters are looking for expert sources, or people who can help them explain the news. Offer ideas, tips, suggestions, best practices, etc. Give the reporter reason to want to speak to you based on your knowledge of the subject. -If you’re looking for a feature story on your company, you need to point out the unique and different aspects of what you do. -Bruce Serbin

6. Respect the journalist’s time. They just may have a few other things going on besides listening to or reading your pitch. If the don’t respond, move on. If they happen to say “get back to me” at a particular day/time, do it. -Ford Kanzler

7. Pick up the phone. We’ve all heard it - reporters tell us not to call. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to reporters. E-mail first and follow up with a phone call in a couple of days if you don’t get a response. Reporters are busy and will intend to get back to you (however, in some instances your story idea simply isn’t a fit), but don’t assume one e-mail to a reporter is enough. There is a fine line between harassing a reporter and being diligent. A good general rule of thumb is three interactions with a reporter with 3-4 days between each interaction for a particular story idea or news announcement you are trying to pitch. -Andy Prince

8. Align your pitch with what the journalist needs, and most importantly - their audiences’ interests. You should be thinking more about “providing value” than “selling” what you have to offer. In fact, a blatant marketing pitch is a sure way to be overlooked. -Linda Pophal

9. Show how what your company is doing represents a TREND, a major move in your industry something that impacts a large number of people that may have a controversial element to it or perhaps your company is involved in something that’s particularly timely. - Daniel Collins

10. Be Creative. News doesn’t happen. News is created … and develop a sense of humor, especially about yourself. If they’re laughing, they’re listening. -Christopher Buttner

11. Consider pitching yourself, not your business. What are you an expert in? Can you comment on larger trends? Current events? If you sell high end dog leashes, maybe you are an expert in pet communication and personality assessment/maybe you can give tips on photographing your pet/tips for grooming/etc. -Allison Dent

12. Journalists want three things: What they (not clients) consider a good idea for a news or feature story; Instant access to quotable experts while they are working a story; And, someone to do their homework/legwork for them. Meet any of these conditions, and you will obtain media exposure for your clients. Continue to meet any two of these conditions and you will have journalists coming to you. -C.L. Talmadge

Now that you have the PR tips you need, craft your message and start pitching. Let the media help you tell your story to the world. Your business will thank you.

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