Interview with the Executive Editor of The Post and Courier

4 02 2009

My first assignment in Dr. V’s PR class this semester was a media relations project.  It included creating a media list and pitching to a specific journalist.  I thought that there was no better way to learn how to pitch to a journalist than actually talking to one.  I emailed Bill Hawkins, Executive Editor of The Post and Courier, to ask him a few questions about news releases and pitches.  His advice to me was as follows:

  • The trick to useful and effective news releases is getting them directed to the right editor or department.
  • Know the name of the person you are trying to reach.  Go to the newspaper’s Website and look for a list of editors/reporters.  You can get their contact information from there.
  • A targeted email allows for an easy follow-up.  Remember to use the subject line.
  • The information should be broad enough for the general public.
  • A news release is not an advertisement.  Mr. Hawkins said that the number one reason they throw away news releases is if they merely are pitching a product that should be an advertisement, not a news release.
  • Press releases should be to the point and brief, timely, and complete with contact information.

I hope you find this information useful.  Media relations is a very important part of PR and we need to know how to properly communicate with the media.

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4 responses

4 02 2009
prprofmv

Wow, thanks for taking the initiative to interview a journalist! Talk about making the Week’s best list 🙂

11 02 2009
Meg Ried

That was such a great idea to do that! I just used those suggestions to see if my news release for class today is up to speed with a real journalist’s expectations.

11 02 2009
Comment on Interview with the Executive Editor of The Post and Courier « Meg Ried’s Weblog

[…] fellow students in my public relations class, Alyssa Maute, wowed me today after I discovered her post last week. Our assignment was to compose a media list, write 2 email pitches to specific […]

11 02 2009
amaute

Thank-you! I thought it would help everyone out.

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