One of my very favorite features that explains what journalists hate about PR people, and what they really want, is Bulldog Reporter’s excellent weekly installment “Journalists Speak Out.”
Each week, the short feature offers pitching tips—along with a good dose of bitching—from reporters, editors, TV producers, radio talk show hosts, and journalists in charge of website content. I wish every Publicity Hound would read it regularly, including interns and anybody who communicates directly with the media.
The feature offers an inside look at each media outlet’s wants and needs. But I particularly like the specific pitching tips. In this week’s installment, for example, Brian Pittman interviews Pamela Kauffman, executive editor of Food & Wine magazine who suggests:
1. Pitch reader impact, not the service.
2. Pitch the person, not the product.
3. Pitch the trend, not the item.
Scroll through the other weekly installments and you’ll start to get a really good feel for the kinds of PR people who make the media crazy.
Last week, for example, Julie Miltenberger, senior food editor at Family Circle, complained about “PR spam.” That’s when dense, usually entry-level people or interns make follow-up calls to journalists en masse and say dumb things like “I had to make 57 calls today and you were number 57.”
Bookmark this feature, read it weekly, and you’ll be far ahead of the folks doing PR for your competitors.