You’ve chummed the water. You’ve staked out the goat. You’ve greased the trap, baited the hook, and smeared peanut butter on the mousetrap.
In other words, you’ve sent out your pitch or news release. Now what?
What do you do when the phone rings, or the inbox pings or Twitter tweets? That reporter needs details and lots of ’em. And maybe needs to talk to a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or wants a quote from the CEO.
Here are 5 tips so you don’t get caught flat-footed:
Expect the call. Lots of people in the public relations biz think the job is over when the press release goes out. Maybe you make a follow-up phone call or email. But that’s just the first bean in the burrito. Most reporters will use your release as a starting point, but they’re gonna have lots more questions. So don’t be surprised when they call.
Be prompt (and available). Reporters (like most of us) have deadlines and they’re usually pushing them to the max. Answer the phone. Or email. Or tweet. But get back to them quickly. The curse of the 24-hour news cycle? You’re expected to be accessible during waking hours (and sometimes after). Being accessible via social media can be a big advantage for both you and the reporter.
Get technical. Have relevant information handy – not just the information pertaining to the news release, but basic company information and background. And if you don’t know something, find out and get it to ’em ASAP.
Be prepared. Have the contact information of your Subject Matter Experts available. Make sure the SME has been briefed. Coordinate between the SME and the reporter. And have a few pithy quotes ready from the SME just in case the reporter and the SME don’t connect. Make images available, hi-res and web-ready, plus video and audio, if relevant. And have a way to get it to who needs it in zippy fashion (reference to speed and compressing files…see what I did there?)
Be friendly. And helpful. And pretty, and witty and wise. Help the reporter get what she needs. PR is a service industry. The better service you provide, the more successful you’ll be. <Ring! Ring!> It’s for you!
For more PR advice and where to plan your next microbrewery tour, call or email Ben Singleton, Ideopia’s director of public relations. 513-947-1444 ext 18.