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Photo Via Phoenix SPJ Instagram

Photo Via Phoenix SPJ Instagram

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending my first Valley Publicity Summit where 27 of our finest media (radio, TV, local papers, magazines) were on-hand to connect with us PR folks.

Before the speed-pitching took place, the media panel shared their Do’s and Don’ts of pitching. Follow these pointers so your pitch is not overlooked!

Al Macias, managing editor, KJZZ-FM - @kjzzphoenix

  • KJZZ does not cover openings or groundbreaking.
  • Stressed that it is important to know who you are pitching and the KJZZ audience.
  • He understands that clients may not want to speak to the media when there is “bad” news, but if PR people can make someone available to make a verbal statement and not a written statement that will go a long way with him. It helps establish credibility and he likely will remember for future “good” stories.

Kathy Tulumello, business editor, Arizona Republic - @azbizeditor

  • Asks that PR people really think about what will attract her readers/audience.
  • She wants to have access to key players that are available for a spoken statement – prefers that over a written statement.
  • Pitches should include/incorporate video/pictures since there are multiple platforms; this helps give the story more visibility to their readers.

Marie Look, editor-in-chief, Scottsdale Magazine - @marielook

  • Her magazine covers luxury content so she needs to have a luxury component, person, price point, or she can’t include.  She does not want “deal” information.
  • The publications works two months out, so currently she and her team are working on the Jan/Feb issue.
  • Always send lo-res images with your pitches. But be sure to have high-res available for publication.
  • The magazine covers the entire Valley, not just Scottsdale.

Eric Watson, assignment editor, KPNX-TV - @ERIC_WATSON

  • He is always looking for experts to speak on timely topics.
  • Stresses to make sure that the pitch is complete, and include visual components or actual images when available. Even pictures from prior year’s event are good to send so he has an idea of what it will look like for this year.

Ilana Lowery, editor, Phoenix Business Journal - @phxbizeditor

  • Pet peeve: Don’t send pitches that are about events that have just happened.
  • Wants to receive information about interesting people.
  • Wants to have access to top-level executives to interview.
  • Think of “who cares” when pitching – will this have an impact for top-level business people and the business community.
  • Fun fact: She will be celebrating 20 years in April so be sure to send her a Happy Anniversary!

Nicole Crites, morning anchor, KPHO-TV - @nicoleCBS5

  • Asks that PR people know the different shows and what each reporter covers.
  • Wants people available to talk on-camera and provide statements.
  • ALWAYS send horizontal images.
  • Wants to hear about upcoming events and seasonal trends, interested in studies with an expert to talk about the matter.
  • Fun fact: Celebrating 10 years with CBS, so please send her a Happy Anniversary!

Tom Gibbons, editor, Talk of Arizona

  • He prefers to receive exclusive, unique business news.
  • Think about “SLUM” when pitching – Does the story have the following elements: Shelf-life/Local/Unique/Multi-media.

Paul Ihander, news director, KTAR-AM and FM - @Paulihander

  • Wants pitches that make him go “hmmmm.”
  • Interested in YouTube links with pitch, but make sure it is relevant to the local market.
  • Loves when PR people over-deliver.

Jennifer Jones, managing editor, Local News Share (she was also the moderator for the panel) - @LNSME

  • Likes to receive complete information in a pitch – Who/What/When/Where/Why with cell numbers of spokesperson on site.
  • Gets more than 1,000 emails a day, so make sure it is complete when sending pitches to her.

As I mentioned, this being my first time, I really enjoyed being able to sit down and talk with everyone. I am already looking forward to 2015!

Whitney Liem
Whitney Liem
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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