Media Relations Next Practices - Media Panel

Media Relations Next Practices - Media Panel

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The media panel at the PR News Media Relations Next Practices Summit held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. gave the audience insights into how they could work with the media in 2013.The panelists were:

  • David Boyer, White House Correspondent for the Washington Times
  • Alison Gary, Editor-in-Chief, Wardrobe Oxygen
  • Robert Terry, Managing Editor of the Washington Business Journal
  • Joanne Bamberger, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher, The Broad Side: Real Women. Real Opinions
  • Marcus Moore, Music Critic/Journalist BBC, MTV Hive, Drowned in Sound.

Here are the questions I asked and a summary of their responses:

  1. How has technology changed the way you gather and report the news?  All the members of the panel agreed that technology had radically changed thier jobs and what they were expected to provide with a story. There are no daily deadlines anymore. The internet  has created an 'always-on' mentality and people expect to get constant updates to the news - especially when there is a breaking story. Digital and traditional newsrooms are merging.
  2. Has this changed the kind of content you look for when you are reporting a story? Indeed it has, said the panelists. Digital has influenced how we report the news and where and how we find sources.

  3. Visual material with a story is vital; Editors know that images or a video that enhance and expand the story will increase the views on that story by as much as 9X. One editor has made it a policy that every single story must have either an image of a video with it or it won't get published,
  4. Should we add visuals with news releases?  The answer was a resounding YES - always!  And add video if you can. The video should be short, show aspects of the story the text can't and it must be in a news-reporting style and format.
  5. What kind of pitches get your attention?  Personalized, intelligent, relevant pitches. Still the biggest complaint is that PR folk do not take the time to really get to know the blog, paper, show, or publication they're pitching. Don't send emails that start Dear Blogger or are totally off-topic. 
  6. What is the best method to pitch you?  Email was the general consensus of the panel.  But it should be a short, to-the-point compelling pitch with links to material in your newsroom.  No attachments.
  7. Can we pitch you via social media?  Some said yes, some said no. this seems to be a personal preference and you should take the time to find out if this is acceptable to the person you are pitching.
  8. Can we connect with you via social media?  All the bloggers said yes. They like it if you read their blogs and leave a comment. Then follow them on Twitter and connect with them on LinkedIn. Once you have started a conversation send the email pitch.  Most of the journalists said yes too.
  9. Do you use corporate online newsrooms when you are researching a story? Another unanimous yes to this question. If a company is part of a story, or they might have industry experts or people who could comment, the media will be visiting their newsroom. 
  10. What do you expect to find in a newsroom?
  • It must easy to use - no registration required,no PDFs.
  • We want to see news in categories, so we can easily and quickly find what we're looking for.
  • If you have experts make that immediately visible. Add their social profiles and a short video interview
  • Media contacts easily visible on the home page of the newsroom.  We dont have time to dig around and look for stuff.
  • Images and video in a multimedia gallery
  • Embed codes for all visual material
  • Tag everything so it can be indexed in search and we can find it

The overall message was - take the time to do your homework. Reach out and connect. Let us know who you are and who you represent. Get to know us and let us get to know you.  Be there as a resource.  Understand the pressure we are under and find ways to help us do our jobs. Make your online newsroom a one-stop destination where we can find and grab the content we need.


Tags: media, relations, news, journalists. bloggers, online newsrooms

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At PRESSfeed we help our clients stay ahead in the rapidly moving digital media landscape. PRESSfeed is a hosted online newsroom with social features and integration, as well as the elements journalists, bloggers and the public expect in a corporate newsroom today. We offer initial training in how to use the newsroom to improve your media relations. Our News OptimizationToolbar offers full instructions on how to optimize news releases, images and video for search. We do monthly training webinars for our clients to keep them informed about the latest technology and media relations trends and tools.

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