Love it or hate it - at 7 o’clock in the morning, PR professionals are socially energetic. Even if it’s talk about how they are so not morning people, they are still chatting away to whoever is willing to listen. We can’t help it, it’s what we do.
So it’s no surprise that the latest PRSA Media Breakfast held at Maizie’s Café was standing room only. That, and the fact that the morning’s guests were Tishin Donkersley, editor of Green Living AZ ; Michelle Glicksman, editor of So Scottsdale!, Scottsdale Health and Go Gilbert!; RaeAnne Marsh, editor of In Business Magazine; and Ed Martinez, editor-in-chief of MyLIFE Magazine.
Delicious food, chatty friends and a highly desirable panel made this the media breakfast you didn’t want to miss.
But in case you did, here are some tips to get your stories in…
…Green Living: Know your industry lingo – sustainable is a buzzword and often misused. When pitching Tishin, she likes emails, but any excuse to get her out of the office to talk will go a long way. Even if there is no time to meet in person, Tishin uses Google + hangouts and Skype to connect with PR pros. What will really get her attention is the tone behind the pitch. If it reads like a forced, Monday morning, pitching-because-I-have-to it will be less likely to be included than someone who is passionate about their story.
Trend to watch: Infographics – can your pitch become one?
…So Scottsdale!/Scottsdale Health/Go Gilbert!: Definitely pitch via email. If you haven’t heard back from Michelle or a member of her staff, don’t be offended, just try again! Having few people covering more and more each day, Michelle always appreciates ideas beyond a story pitch, like a Top Ten List. Something that goes a long way with Michelle is doing the background work. The best pitch she can remember was an okay, not strong, pitch but the PR representative sent her not only info on his client, but offered up information on competitors doing the same thing to emphasize the trend.
Trend to watch: A move toward featuring unique online content soon (currently only digital versions available online).
…InBusiness Magazine: Lead time is more than three months out, so please reference the editorial calendar posted on the InBusiness website. RaeAnne looks for stories for and about businesses, not people. Explain why the story is a fit for the magazine more than the story itself. When sending a release or pitch, don’t include any attachments or photos, but let it be known they are available.
Trend to watch: InBusiness will soon require a paid subscription for online viewing.
….MyLife Magazine: Keep pitches short and to the point. Make sure everything you send is well written as that reflects on you and your client. Ed is a bit old fashion in that he always prefers to meet in person and is willing to talk on the phone, as email is too impersonal. He especially does not like email blasts and is more likely to pay attention when addressed especially to him. A pet peeve – don’t say “Mr. Client is available for interviews” as that’s a given; MyLife Magazine will not include an article without interviewing the subject or close source. Also, do not send email attachments – no one likes a server crasher.
Trend to watch: Next edition will feature one-on-one profiles.
While they all shared similar opinions, they each had their own unique preferences, and as Ed pointed out, the relationship built between an editor and PR pro is really what can give your pitch an edge over the rest. Even which pitching business stories to business focused pubs it is the personal interaction that the members of the media will remember, not the story.
The next PRSA Media Breakfast Happy Hour is scheduled for Thursday, July 19.