Tag Archives: media relations

Journalism, PR & the First Rough Draft of History

One of my favorite aphorisms about journalism is that it’s the first rough draft of history. True enough. Sometimes, though, it proves to be the only history, especially for local news of lesser import. And as for those stories that have follow-ups over time, the term “rough draft” may suggest that debut stories have a […]

When Pitching the Media, Keep it Brief

Unless you’ve been on the receiving end of a story pitch, you likely don’t appreciate the urgency of being succinct in those interactions. Having been on the receiving end of such pitches for about 20 years, I can assure you that the goal ought NEVER be selling the reporter, editor or producer on a story–that’s […]

Ease the Media’s Load: Tip, Don’t Tease

If you were an underpaid and overworked reporter (yeah, that’s redundant), which of these pitches do you suppose would move you to action? Pitch A: Joe, Wondering if you would you be interested in looking into a story suggestion involving the village of Anywheresville and its (mis)handling of a garage construction approval process for a new […]

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 […]

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 […]

Part II, 2014 PR & Marketing Resolution: Exercise More (Restraint, Discipline, Patience)

Building on Part I, 2014 PR & marketing resolution: consume better sources of information, we turn our attention to “exercising more.” More of what kind of exercise, though? In the athletic (and New Year’s Resolution) arenas, it is so easily associated with vigorous displays of energy—running, jumping, moving about in one way or another. With […]

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 […]

NOVO’s ‘Trick or Treatment’ & Other Forms of Seizing Seasonal PR Opportunities

When we learn how to drive a car, we are taught the “three-second rule,” a safe following distance guide to ensure that we leave enough space between our car and the one in front of us to avoid a collision. Or perhaps you know it as the “two-second rule,” which is considered a minimum separation […]

When Re-Tooling Isn’t Enough to Get it Done, Then It’s Time To Report

There are certain sensitive, “adult” things that I will share with my wife, outside my 9-year-old children’s earshot. If that news contains some elements that my son and daughter should know, then I will tease out those details that I believe are most appropriate for them. Likewise, when taking a story that has national scope […]