The Internet and social media have certainly made it easier to conduct media relations in a more efficient and less intrusive way.
At my first PR job I had to type in contact addresses from the hard-copy Bacon’s guide so we could mail merge and send out the press materials. Or stand over the fax machine feeding through one press release at at time.
Being required to do cold-call follow-ups as a junior employee was one of the main reasons I gravitated toward other forms of online marketing as soon as they started to emerge.
And while the phone is still the best option in some situations, email and social media have made it much easier to interact with the media in ways that are better for all.
However, even though the tools and communication channels have improved many of the mistakes with regards to distributing press releases and following up have stood the test of time.
So in the spirit of my post on buzzwords and marketing speak in press releases I thought I’d have a little fun by capturing the essence of how not to pitch a journalist in a video.
Ever been involved in something like this on either side, although I hope not as extreme?
Here’s a transcript of the dialog:
Hi, I’m a busy important journalist.
–Well at least until the next round of layoffs. LOL! Seriously though, did you get my press release?
–My press release. Did you get it? I emailed it to you. Three times.
We get a lot of releases.
–But mine is really important. I sent it to you on Twitter. And Facebook. And Google+. I took a picture of it and shared it on Pinterest.
I have no idea what release you are talking about. And what the heck is Google+?
–Seriously though, my press release. It says “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” That means you should write about it right away.
How did you get in here?
–I left you a voice mail every day this week but you haven’t called me back. So I had to sneak into your office. Now about my press release. Aren’t you going to cover it?
Why on earth would I pay attention to you?
–Because I personalized my email pitch. I used your name in the email. I mentioned that I like your work. And each of the five follow-up emails I sent were also personalized.
I’ve got to go.
–But my press release is really good. It is filled with buzzwords and jargon. I used unique, revolutionary, one-of-a-kind. My news is best of breed!
News? Please go away.
–But I embedded multimedia in my release. Images! Video! And I socialized it too.
Do you even know what I cover?
–First you write an article about my press release. Then a bunch of other sites will take your article, barely change it and then publish it on their own sites. It is called aggregation!
–Please. I’m begging you. My client thinks I have an actual relationship with journalists like you.
I’m going to enjoy kicking your butt.
–So will you publish the story today?