Category Archives: Media Relations

How Photography Gives You a PR Boost, Part 1

In journalism, “sure shot” is a term that I first encountered as a young newspaper reporter. It’s the practice of taking a simple photo, or set of photos, while on the scene of a story. Whether it is a building fire or a feature profile of a baseball card shop owner, the idea is for […]

Solid Story-Telling Trumps SEO Manipulations

Have you ever had someone take five minutes to explain why they don’t have any time to meet with you—when all you could spare was two minutes of your own time, anyhow? Or what about the guy who turns on the creative juices to avoid doing essential work that requires one-quarter of the brainpower that […]

When a News Outlet Has Been ‘Scooped’: Three Common Responses—And PR Lessons

Do you remember which media outlet was the first to break the news of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001? More importantly, do you realize the relative insignificance of the answer? Story-telling is a marathon, not a sprint. Between being first and being best, there’s no question that the latter is preferable—although achieving both […]

Don’t Let Sour News Linger: In the Wake of Negative News, Shift the Focus Forward

From a distance, thanks to the big red letters against the white poster in the front window of the building, the words are easy to see: “THIS STORE WILL BE CLOSING ON.” Only when getting much closer to the window would you be able to see the hand-scrawled customization of that generic announcement: “Sat., 12-28-13 […]

Don’t Just Crank Out More PR: 7 Questions to Identify, Expand & Serve Your Audience

The first newspaper stories that I wrote, 30 years ago, began as actual scrawling that I did in a notebook. After making editing changes, I would then begin typing the copy on an electric typewriter plugged into the wall of my home in the woods on Webster Street. Along the way, I would make some […]

The Reward of National Publicity Comes With Heightened Risk of Rejection

Because most of my media relations work is focused on Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, I often know the reporters, editors and producers that I contact with news releases, story suggestions, and on-air guest pitches. Short of making that personal connection, at the least I make it my mission to know that based on the […]

On the Road Again: 5 Steps for More PR Mileage

A traveling circus and an educational presentation that is duplicated at multiple locations over a concentrated period of time–pretty strange bedfellows. Or are they? At first blush, these might seem to have nothing to do with another, but when it comes to marketing communications, both represent excellent opportunities for ongoing public relations. At the heart […]

3 Proven Steps to Building Connections with Chicago-Area Freelance Reporters

Freelance writers and reporters are an often-overlooked segment of the media who represent great potential for publicists who are paying attention. That was the case during my tenure as a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune (1999-2005), among other publications, and it’s even more the truth today. For one thing, this is a highly motivated […]

Sticking Up for The Client, Sticking Up for The Story

A Chicago media personality today told me that my pitch on behalf of a client was “self-promotional” and so, if they were guests on a segment, it would be a “free commercial.” At first, I thought about replying snarky-style: “Isn’t that the whole idea behind public relations?” However, that’s not the whole idea. It’s a happy byproduct […]

Boost ‘Calendar Awareness’ & Bolster Your Marketing and Public Relations Efforts

Did you know that yesterday was National Child Health Day? And, at the risk of having you worry why March and May were not designated instead, did you realize that April is Stress Awareness Month? Growing up, for yours truly, every day was Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. On a broader scale, however, that comfort […]