Al Czarnecki APR FCPRS LM
| (416) 261-9828 | www.topstory.ca
Media relations - learning to live with editors
- Editorial line-ups
Periodicals have editorial calendars, writers' guidelines, readership profiles for advertisers. Study these and back issues. Editorial fit, good writing and readership relevance will interest an editor.
- Canadian Index
The Canadian Index lists stories from hundreds of periodicals, showing title, publication, issue, date, page reference. Study it for keywords and to see how stories have played. (ISSN 1192-4160)
- Response time
A journalist may need to play voice mail tag with twenty sources, do a dozen phone interviews, draft and polish a 2,000 word story . . . for a one-week deadline. Return all media calls within 20 minutes. You'll make friends.
- Contact log
Start an action sheet for every story:
Use it to stretch your goals in being responsive.
- Created day/date/time
- Journalist - paper/station - phone, fax, email
- Topic - approach to story - also contacting
- Deadline - run date - section/program
- Follow-up taken - date - time - person - comment
- Coordination The benefits of coordinated media relations are: response time fast, story lines identified, background information available, the right spokespeople involved, people and locations prepared, approvals determined, public relations counsel available.
- In-depth interviews Imagine a conversation where the other person is pulling written sentences out of a hat. When you generate media interest, you should be prepared to do in-depth interviews. Genuine leather has creases, grain, character — these are what differentiate it from 'perfect' plastic. You can be both real and positive at the same time. You'll gain credibility.
- If you want to be quoted . . . Attribution is earned. Stay on topic. And say something important to the readership that other sources haven't said. Or express it better. You'll do best if you've reviewed and internalized your material.
(Note: There's information specific to media relations in Consulting and Writing.
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