Although there’s been considerable focus on “new” media, the “old folks” still play a vital role in our strategic public relations efforts.
For example, we generally get a lot more activity in our live online chats at the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services when the local newspaper, TV or radio outlets do a blurb or mention as a result of our press releases. Our communications director has established good working relationships with the media, so they know he’ll provide newsworthy material.
At the heart of Media Relations is getting to know the needs of individual journalists — and striving to meet them. One might want video, photos and fact sheets. Another might prefer a two-paragraph e-mail. It’s important to learn their preferences and then read, listen to and/or view their reports. Offer story ideas of value to their readers/viewers/listeners.
With that in mind, here are some highlights from the traditional media portions of the recent Cincinnati PRSA Media Day event:
National Media Panel
* Bob Driehaus, former Cincinnati Post reporter who freelances for New York Times
* Dan Sewell of Cincinnati AP bureau
* Carolyn Forta, Good Housekeeping
Sewell covers P&G, Kroger and breaking news. Likes brief pitches. E-mail best. Subject line critical. Contact info. Couple lines and bullet points. Whatever helps sell the story to editors. Relevance. Statistics. Trends. AP reporters like Sewell heavily involved in Twitter. Facebook to lesser extent, but evolving quickly. Use to develop contacts, get story ideas, see what people are talking about.
Driehaus does not use HARO to get sources. Will use Twitter, Facebook in a pinch. Pitches more stories to NYT than they assign. Likes brief pitches. E-mail best.
Forta does a speed cleaning page. Tests products in lab. Does a blog. Drives traffic with Twitter and Facebook. Web work adds to workload.
All use bloggers for tips or background. May become a source. Never lift from blogs. Good Housekeeping getting info from Webinars.
Local Media Roundtables
James Pilcher, assistant managing editor, technology
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Covers economy, aviation, technology Get to know me. Don’t do a cold call. Example: PR person had read his Twitter stream and was familiar with him before making a pitch. Keep pitches to 4-5 paragraphs with no attachments Think multi-media: Enquirer does as much video as TV Also does podcasts 24-hour news cycle. Give to us first . A well-told local story will get picked up by AP. National reporters check with local journalists first while researching stories. Utilizes online newsrooms on Web sites every day. Likes contact info, financial info, top executive bios/photos
Chris Graves, assistant managing editor/digital-online
Cincinnati.com primarily fed by Enquirer. Enquirer.com no longer exists Her job fundamentally changes every six months In the last four months, the Enquirer has been putting virtually all of the printed paper online a day in advance. Competing with Google, AP, blogs… Use Share first. Editor could flag for Community Press, Enquirer Also e-mail editors and email@example.com Get to know reporters Don’t put solely on Share. Send to editor/reporter, too. She does the Enquirer’s live chats. Not regularly scheduled. As needed. Also, they’re looking at BlogTalkRadio
Stew Hirsch, assignment manager
Started June 1. Had been in Columbus market for 20 years Doesn’t like pdf attachments. Doesn’t want a suit. Wants real people.
Hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to share your thoughts about this.