The seven deadly sins of dealing with media?
You may think that journalists and media take great satisfaction stripping apart your yarn to nothing but in actual fact, they are people with a job to do, responsibilities and deadlines to keep.
Want to know what not to do in order to keep the media happy? Over the years at our #MeetTHeMedia events, journalists in print, radio, television and online have shared these tips of what not to do.
Late: media is a fast-moving machine, and it needs all its parts to perfectly aligned and on time. If you are late you will lose your opportunity and if you are habitually late you will be overlooked in the future.
Spelling: Get the name of the show, producer, or presenter right. You know what it is like when someone misspells your name. The media will dismiss you when you don’t do them the courtesy of getting the name of the presenter or show correct.
Play-off: Never play the media off each other. It never works and saying that you will take it to a competitor will only make your relationship with them begin to sour. It is OK after a designated time to let them know you are moving the story on.
Never say you don’t consume the media: Never say this to a person in media you are pitching a story to them. They like to feel that you are actively interested in their medium and that you are a consumer. Saying “I don’t watch the news” is acid in the eyes of media.
Don’t bury the story: Get some help writing your media pitches. Anything over 150 words is too long. Get straight to the point with an attractive headline, immediate punch with the story and a solution. The Media Board by Media Stable has mastered the pitch over the last eight years.
No Gatekeeper: If you are putting the contact details of the talent or expert at the end of your pitch, make sure it is their direct line and not a PR person or PA. Let’s get the media direct to the talent. Make sure the phone is on and has a full battery.
Not available: Calls can come in early, late and at unusual times. Make yourself available particularly if you have put content out there for media to use. Nothing frustrates media more than a call to an expert that is on holidays, in bed or just has no time for calls.
It might seem like commonsense, but these are the seven pet hates of media when it comes to dealing with talent. If you make sure that you are not doing any of these, you will be in good shape to get your news and expertise out there.
By Nic Hayes, Managing Director of Media Stable.