How to Work with the Press in PR

Learn how to work with the press from celebrity publicist Kelly Brady in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So here are some of my tips for working with the press. Know that usually when they call you they're on deadline and be sensitive to that. Always ask them when their deadline is and always get them the information before that. There's nothing worse than you missing a deadline because they're going to be annoyed with you and your clients is not going to get the press piece.

When working with the press make sure you use spell check. Because writing is their job, they will point out a misspelled word immediately and they get annoyed with it. This is something that actually is one of my weaknesses because I write really fast and I always need to remind myself to go back, reread, and make sure I don't have anything misspelled or in the wrong context.

Another tip with working with the press, there's this old wives' tale called "off the record". Some media do respect it. Some don't. You don't want to be in the position where you set an off the record to a reporter that doesn't follow that rule, so if you don't want it said don't say it.

Another thing is be persistent but not pushy. There's a fine line. It's important to pitch the press and follow-up with them and get an answer. I always like to ask for a yes or no and usually they'll tell you yes or no. And sometimes you can even engage with them, the reporter or the editor, and ask them why they didn't like your story. Get feedback. You know,"What was the reason why you didn't take this pitch?" And that's always really helpful and some reporters are more than happy to give it to you.

But, again, understand they are very busy and they are getting pitched all day long and you just need to be considerate and know that they're doing a job just like you're doing a job and mutually you help each other out. Because you are giving them story leads and inside information, but ultimately they decide if your story gets run. So it's just important to create that valuable relationship. Be considerate and be persistent, but not pushy.

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