Do your homework before pitching a reporter

September 14, 2014

A Newsweek reporter who writes about music decided to try an unusual experiment. Instead of ignoring the multitude of news releases and pitches that public relations “professionals” send him, he decided that one for week he would read and respond to every email he received from a PR person. His resulting column (which you can […]

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Newspaper reporters can now keep up with their broadcast peers

April 26, 2014

I read an interesting opinion piece entitled “Writing Online: You Have to Feed the Machine — And the Machine Likes Junk Food” that I want to comment about. The writer, John Reinan, wrote that, among other things, reporters at my hometown daily newspaper (The Oregonian) now have to post “multiple news items a day, piecing […]

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Keys to success straight from the source: the news media

March 9, 2014

Whenever a new professional approaches me for career advice, I always give the same advice: join either PRSA or IABC, go to their professional development events and volunteer for them. These organizations and their events are not only a great networking opportunity, they are also a way to showcase your skills to others in the […]

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Yes, PR is a stressful profession not meant for the faint of heart

January 19, 2014

The jobs website has released its annual list of the Most Stressful Jobs of 2014 and it includes something I have known for years but might come as a surprise for those contemplating a career in public relations. According to the web site, the four most stressful jobs, in order, are: 1) Enlisted military […]

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The end of the news release? I think not!

December 1, 2013

I was reading an article online from the Business Journal in Portland, Ore., in which public relations executive Ashley Brown from Coca-Cola is quoted as saying, “If there is one thing I want to do at Coke it’s to kill the press release.” The article explains that through Brown’s efforts, Coca-Cola has jumped headfirst into […]

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Make your news releases newsworthy (and shareworthy)

September 22, 2013

I think the secret to making a news release newsworthy is to focus on the aspect(s) of your announcement that people will care about most and not on those that are perhaps more important to the entity releasing the news. Here’s an example. Let’s say you work at a hospital whose foundation just received a […]

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Write your news release from the reader’s viewpoint

August 7, 2013

I am reading “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” by Carmine Gallo who, according to the jacket bio, has a background in public relations. In the midst of his describing Jobs’ public speaking secrets, Gallo inserts a rant about PR pros who write poor news releases. “The majority of press releases are usually self-indulgent, buzzword-filled […]

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When to send both a media advisory and a news release

August 5, 2013

In my last post I explained the differences between a media advisory and a news release. There are times when you should send out only one or the other. But there are certain situations where it’s appropriate to send both. Let me explain. Let’s say you work at a nonprofit group and it’s planning to […]

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What is a media advisory?

June 14, 2013

Many people in the public relations profession confuse a news release with a media advisory. Yet there are distinct differences between the two in terms of their purpose and format. A news release is sent to the media with the hopes that they will publish the story, cover your event or write their own story. […]

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When a news release is NOT necessary

May 10, 2013

I was talking to a new communications professional the other day about two news story ideas involving the company where she works. One possible story was about a special event her company was planning to hold. Her other topic was “family-owned companies where fathers and daughters work together.” Both are potentially newsworthy topics, I told […]

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