Serving on the board of directors for PRSA Phoenix and as the co-chair for the media breakfasts, I get to plan (and moderate) some pretty cool events, like yesterday’s All About News and Talk event yesterday with KTAR (#DontTouchThatDial). Not only did we learn some fun facts about each panelist, such as: Jayme West, an Arizona native, has sung on stage with The Carpenters during a concert in Tucson when she was a child and, since, 2004, Jim Cross has had a certificate to fight wildfires. But did you know that Paul Ihander had a non-speaking role in the 1993 movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3” (Cowabunga) and Jim Sharpe has worked on-air in 11 different cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas and New Orleans?
The panel also shared some great tips and ideas for public relations professionals. A few key points that were consistent across the panel included:
- Send your pitch to as many people as possible at the station (which really surprised me). They all like to see the pitches and everyone views stories differently (I think they might need to be careful what they wish for here :).
- But if you want to send just to a general email you can send it to email@example.com and that email goes to four editors.
- Be aware of what other news is happening when you send a pitch. If there is a major event, it might be best to save the pitch for later day/time.
And a few key points/ideas from each panelist:
- Really values personal relationships with PR pros and would welcome coffee meetings. If there are multiple people in an agency, schedule a meeting with a group and meet all at once.
- Pitches via social media are ok, but she prefers direct messages or Facebook messages.
- Make sure you have a catchy subject line. Because of all the email they get, the subject line really needs to stand out.
- If you have an event or something you want covered coming up make sure to send it as early as possible. KTAR has a pretty extensive day calendar and they work pretty far out. Typically when something is sent the same day, it becomes a very low priority. Also, it is important to be aware of the location and timing for a reporter to get there.
- Get to know the segment Main Street Minute which promotes job fairs, new business openings and expansions and locations that are giving away free stuff. This segment airs every day at 7:23 a.m.
- Loves to be on social media, more than email, so pitching him this way is good!
- Is very open to coffee meetings because it involves food.
The best part of the event (besides moderating the great panel)? Was coming back into the office and seeing that the hashtag we created for the event was trending in Phoenix!
If you missed this sold-out event you can watch the entire event from the Facebook Live video at: https://www.facebook.com/PRSAphoenix