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#MediaMonday – Dan Bickley
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We’ve talked about the best times and ways to pitch a reporter.

We’ve talked about when it’s best to decline an interview.

We’ve talked about not using controversial events to leverage your pitch.

Now it’s time to talk about when you shouldn’t pitch a reporter, unless you are leveraging your story with current events.

President Obama will be in Phoenix next week on a day that a member of a Facebook PR interest group dubbed “Blackout Tuesday.” The point is valid – next Tuesday, Aug. 6, all Phoenix-area reporters, cameras and eyes will be stuck on the President’s every move. This reiterates the importance of staying up-to-date with current news, not only in your industry, but on a local and national level.

So what’s a PR pro to do? Take the day off?

Well no, because obviously you are all professionals with many things on your plate, and any event or story you wished to place on the 6th should have been done weeks ago. We know you’re smarter than that.

But it will be a day to hold off on any pitching for upcoming stories, unless your story is able to tie into Mr. President’s presence. It’s not often that something that causes a “media blackout” is actually something you can relate your story to without coming across as insensitive, ignorant or downright tacky (which is still very possible to do, so pitch wisely.) Such stories are usually ridden with tragedy, controversy or, try as you might, too much of a national hubbub to be taken seriously as a pitch (like trying to relate to the Royal Baby.)

What other events can you think of that can cause “media blackouts” locally? How have you used news-dominating stories to your own pitching advantage?

Stephanie Lough
Stephanie Lough
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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