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.
My attending the public release of data last week comparing perceptions of today’s college students by the public and by Beltway insiders brought home to me a larger point – how different and challenging it is to execute on PR support for a client that is successful in meeting goals both inside and outside the Beltway. In some ways, it’s almost like trying to do PR in two separate countries.
For more than 50 years in this country, ever since baby boomers started graduating from high school in the mid-1960s, there has been an assumption that individuals with high school diplomas in hand would follow one of two tracks – college or no college.
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.
This item (below in italics) from today’s AXIOS A.M. caught my eye and provides a chance to share a few thoughts:
Former President Barack Obama expresses his condolences to Cindy McCain after delivering a eulogy at her husband Senator John McCain’s funeral on September 1, 2018 at Washington National Cathedral. (photo credit: James Boyle)
When you get to be my age, you start to attend lots of funerals. In just the past decade I’ve buried both my parents, my only brother and my only sister, so not only have I been to many funerals, I have also helped to plan, organize and be part of the services, too.