All of us in the PR world are always scheming how to “secure coverage” for our clients. While the news merits of a specific pitch – and how that pitch is made – are and forever will remain the best way for a story pitch to be successful, it certainly doesn’t hurt to build and maintain effective working relationship with reporters.
“We like the piece. It will go up on our site tomorrow morning and I’ll send you a link.”
For a PR person, there’s no better way to start the day than to receive that kind of short reply from someone whom you’ve pitched an op-ed piece on behalf of one of your clients.
The chances of getting such a reply, of course, are not great. But there are several ways of improving your odds, what I call the five key factors in placing an op-ed in a targeted publication. They are:
No matter where you fall on the political scale, you probably took some comfort last week from the fact that Donald Trump almost – not totally but almost – stopped tweeting for a few days as the nation mourned the loss of our 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush.
Data from Gallup shows that confidence in newspapers and TV news are at an all-time low, and as PR professionals this should be concerning for a number of reasons.
There once was a time, before the summer of 2015 when a certain man came down an escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, that PR firms such as ours could pitch cable TV news bookers with a reasonable chance at success.
We all know that Twitter can be annoying. Its cacophony of voices screaming 24/7, its herd mentality taken to the nth degree and its perpetually haranguing (and harangued) character @realDonaldTrump hovering over it all, like a big orange balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
In any public or interpersonal interaction, first impressions are lasting impressions. But looking presentable becomes even more important when you are representing your company or organization before millions of viewers on TV. So, even though you may have deep knowledge of the subject and a powerful message to share, the very first thing that will catch your viewers’ attention will be your appearance.
Fortunately, if you can remember this one overriding principle, your on-air attire angst is sure to diminish: it’s far more important that the audience remembers what you said, not what you wore.