On October 16th in Oak Park: “PR Secrets From a Media Insider”

Since 2001, associations and companies across the United States have hired Matt Baron of Inside Edge PR to train thousands of journalists, publicists and other professionals to develop immediately applicable, improved story-telling skills.


On Tuesday, Oct. 16th, through an Oak Park – River Forest (OPRF) Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn at Adam Doe State Farm, he brings PR Secrets From a Media Insider. In this practical workshop, rooted in the rapidly evolving communications landscape, Matt teaches how to:

• Craft compelling, publication-ready news releases
• Establish yourself as an expert in your field
• Use social media to expand your communications reach
• Secure media coverage that leads to greater profits

To register, contact Mark Walden at mwalden@oprfchamber.org.

"PR Secrets From a Media Insider" Update

Since last August, I have held 10 “PR Secrets from a Media Insider” workshops, the past four months next to my current office space, in a conference room of 1111 South Blvd. in downtown Oak Park.

Based on the needs and wants of attendees, I tailor each program within the 11-page workbook that I’ve created. Small-business owners and entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries, including law, finance, insurance, a cleaning service, a handyman service and graphic design, are among PR Secrets’ alumni.

The programs have transitioned into a monthly rhythm, on the third Tuesday, and the next one is April 20, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Attached is a flier you can click on for more detail, including the $39 fee. (For those who pre-register with payment in advance, there is a $5 discount.)

You can see a brief excerpt from my first PR Secrets session and you can also contact me directly at Matt@InsideEdgePR.com

When One-Sided Claims Masquerade As News

During my most recent “PR Secrets From a Media Insider” workshop a few days ago, a local businessman asked what time of day deadlines typically happen for the media.

Ten or 15 years ago, I could have easily laid out some specific windows of time, I replied. But these days, I added, the answer is literally “all the time.”

That is one of the most profound effects of the Internet and the media’s collective rush to be first with news, even if it’s incomplete, unbalanced and, in some cases, the hasty airing of publicly filed records without any discernible thought as to whether it is actually newsworthy.

Some so-called news group’s apparent rationale: “We’ll contact XYZ Company or ABC Source when we get around to publishing a story in our print edition–that’s the `real’ version anyhow.”

Having been in newsrooms for most of my career, this insensitive illogic is galling. It fails to consider the impact that Internet content has on an individual or organizational reputation. The Internet is forever and everywhere. Print is limited, both in collective memory and geographic scope.

Compounding that sin, some draw extra attention to these “stories” with yellow, sensationalistic headlines that take highly questionable assertions and portray them as fact.

And then there’s the recent element of using social media to draw online eyeballs to breaking stories. This is terrific…except when it puts the spotlight on pieces that are woefully under-reported and unfair in their treatment of one side of an issue or another.

The moment that journalistically slipshod content appears online, the damage has already been done. As previously mentioned, the Internet is forever and everywhere.

In the long run, I am confident, such reckless behavior will hasten the demise of shoddy journalists and half-baked news outlets that are little more than cut-and-paste hacks. Those in the community to whom such outlets render this brand of disservice will simply shift their trust–and advertising and circulation dollars–to those that treat information, especially those relating to volatile, one-sided claims, with care.

But what to do in the meantime? When those situations crop up, it is essential for advocates, such as PR professionals, to move quickly and forcefully in demanding ethical accountability and professionalism from the offending media outlet.

It surely doesn’t reverse the damage, but at least it slows the bleeding.

PR Tips: How to Build Rapport With Reporters

Among many other topics during last week’s workshop, “PR Secrets From a Media Insider,” one was on how to develop rapport with members of the media.

In a nutshell, here are some basic steps:

1. Pay attention to the reporter’s prior work.
2. Pay a (sincere) compliment.
3. Respectfully challenge a reporter’s work.
4. Offer a story suggestion that does not benefit you in the least.

The brief video below, from the PR Secrets workshop at the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park, Ill., touches on these points:

On August 12: PR Secrets From a Media Insider

Where will you be four weeks from Wednesday, on the evening of August 12th?

If you are anywhere near Oak Park–and are in the market for immediately useful and practical tools to improve your public-relations efforts–then you should consider attending PR Secrets From a Media Insider.

Full disclosure: I am a biased source, since I am the one leading the session from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Carleton Hotel just south of downtown Oak Park.

Attendees will receive a workbook loaded with media-insider tips and principles that work time and again, largely because having been in the media for more than 20 years, I know just what reporters, editors, producers and other decision-makers need.

Hint: at the top of the list is a four-letter word that begins with “n,” ends with “s,” and has “ew” in the middle.

Of course, don’t be so naive as to take some self-serving publicist’s word for his purported ability to match individuals and organizations with an assortment of media outlets.

Instead, be sure to watch video clips of satisfied Inside Edge PR clients and read their testimonials to see if he has anything to back up all the talk.

Then–and only then–should you call me at 708-860-1380 or send an e-mail to reserve your space.