I spoke at the PRSA Digital Impact Conference (#PRSA_DI) yesterday in NYC. Because I ran short on time, I was only able to answer one question. The question related to the media in the social landscape, and what was the best way to reach out to contacts about your news. I said it varies depending on the relationship whether it’s a journalist or a blogger, you have to know how people want to be contacted and you must build a relationship with them.
Today, as I was catching up on my emails, I found a pleasant surprise in my inbox. I received a “Letter From The Editor of PRNewser,” Joe Ciarallo. This letter reinforced what I said at the conference and everything that I was thinking about relationships. Here’s the letter so you can read it in its entirety. (Disclosure: I have no affiliation with PRNewser, other than I read and share the articles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn frequently.)
To start, I want to apologize for this mass email, however it is an effective way for me to communicate with so many of you at once. After more than six months at the helm of mediabistro.com‘s PRNewser, I wanted to reach out to all of those in the industry that I’ve worked with to say that I’ve very much enjoyed working with you, and look forward to continuing to do so.
More importantly, as PRNewser continues to grow into one of the industry’s “must reads,” I also wanted to share a few notes on how we can work together moving forward. Here are some notes on our editorial process that I think will be helpful to you. Some of you may already be familiar with much of this, but I figured having it all in one place couldn’t hurt.
- Account wins: We welcome news about your account wins. However, unless it is a “major” win – we would consider a Fortune 500 company or a particulary newsworthy company to be major – we will include these wins in our “Spin the Agencies of Record” feature, which is our account wins round up that runs once or twice a week, depending on volume.
- New hires: We also welcome receiving news about new hires, however, we do ask that you please send a headshot along with your announcement. A press release isn’t always necessary. Sometimes a few sentences, with links to a LinkedIn profile or other information is all we need.
- Interviews/Q&A’s: We are always open to receiving pitches for interviews and Q&A’s. We are especially interested in “brand side” or internal PR executives, but we also interview agency execs as well. Of course, a newsy hook always helps! We’re open to video shoots, or phone interviews.
- Events: We have added several freelancers to our staff, so we have more capacity to cover events that you are hosting, or events that feature your clients and are relevant to PR and marketing. However, please give us at least a few weeks heads up for scheduling purposes.
- Research / studies: Our readers love statistics and data. If you have a study or survey that you’re planning, please do give us a heads up. If you have video, a chart or other multimedia to go along with your research, even better.
- Commentary / News of the Day: We do our best to track down experts in various verticals/industries, but please don’t hesitate to reach to us and have various experts send their thoughts on news of the day. For example, see this story on Goldman Sachs PR: http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/crisis_communications/did_goldman_sachs_do_anything_to_help_itself_yesterday_159833.asp Remember, as a blog, our deadline is usually “now,” however we do also work on stories in advance.
- Embargoes: While we always prefer to receive news first, we would rather have a “heads up” on an upcoming announcement as opposed to having to scramble last minute. When we have time to prepare a story, it usually turns out better for both of us.
I think that just about covers it. Again, it’s been a pleasure working with you all, and of course please don’t hesitate to share any feedback or thoughts you may have regarding PRNewser. Also, feel free to share this email with your colleagues.
I think this is a fantastic letter and it says to me, “Let’s work on our relationship; let’s make it even better.” I wish more news outlets would do this for PR professionals. I felt it was important for all of you to see this letter (some may have received it themselves) because it demonstrates a few things. Immediately after reading the letter, it made me feel like I have a relationships with Joe and PRNewser, and they are going out of their way to show me the many opportunities that can seized for my brands, client experts, etc. This letter makes me want to stress that there are no excuses for sending spammy releases and blind pitches that don’t make sense. PRNewser is making it very easy for us to get the coverage, by detailing the opportunities that make our clients and our own companies so happy.
I actually had another blog post planned for today, but thought it would be better to post this letter to reinforce that you can have great relationships with the media and that if we listen to what people need, then we can become even better “friends” or resources.
What do you think about the PRNewser Letter From The Editor? When was the last time you received something like this from a media outlet?