Writers and public relations professionals must have a symbiotic relationship, meaning two sides must exist. If you’re the PR pro, know as much as you can about the writer or publication. If you’re the writer, know about the PR pro or PR agency.
We’re all humans with a finite amount of time. Be understanding and respectful to deadlines. You are not the only thing on the other person’s radar.
To facilitate this professional relationship, pitches should be:
- written with correct grammar and punctuation
- about a newsworthy subject–not just a ‘follow our page’ or cover our event
- descriptive and to the point
- detail orientated
- make it clear what’s in it for the writer and their audience
- ask writers their preference for follow up
- sent in the middle of the day
Additionally, a press release is another channel of communication for the two sides to use. However, don’t stick to the status quo when writing press releases. News can be found in multiple places and not all publications will find your news at the top of their to-do list.
PR Newswire has a fantastic infographic with the A-Z’s of press releases, and here are a few of my favorite letters summarized:
B is for Boilerplate: provide readers with a brief and concise background of your organization.
C is for Call to Action: drive the message home/make it stick with a follow-up action to perform after reading the release.
H is for Headline: the most important first impression of your press release; invite people to keep reading.
Q is for Quality Content: do more than deliver the facts. Tell a story that is engaging, relevant, and informative.
S is for Social Media: have easy to share visuals, hashtags and quotes ready to captivate your networks on social media. Know which network you could partner with.
W is for Word Count: find the meaty middle-not too short or not too long.
X is for X-Factor: what makes your story special? Know it and stick to it!
Y is for Year-Round Strategy: bring all your traditional media efforts into your entire strategy and connect it on one calendar.