Technology has made the world feel small, but the importance of local media hasn’t changed. To get a fresh perspective on working with our own local media contacts, members of Kaplow attended PRSA’s “Meet the Media” New York City panel.
Moderated by Erica Saviano Tsioutas, VP Senior Media Specialist at Ketchum, the panel included:
- Nicole Bode, @nicolebode, Deputy Editor, DNAinfo.com New York
- Jessica Steiner, @jessicasteiner, Lead News Assignment Editor, NY1 News
- Wendy Gillette, @wendygilletteny, Freelance Correspondent, Producer and Anchor – CBS Newspath, ABC, Newsone, CBS, and FiOS News
- Meredith Engel, @meredithatmetro, Well Being, Going Out, and Travel Editor, Metro New York
Though the panelists differed in platforms (an equal mix of print and broadcast), the advice they provided was consistent. Here are the top lessons I learned about approaching local media:
- Do Your Homework: Always do your research before contacting local media outlets (i.e. NY1 doesn’t have a morning show). Spend time perusing their website before you send that email or pick up that phone.
- Give as Many Details as Possible: As one panelist put it, “We like to be spoon-fed.” Include any and all applicable details, pictures, b-roll links and an expert (if you have one). Just make sure the email isn’t too large, so it won’t clog up the editors’ inboxes.
- Know Your Audience: Think about what the reader/viewer wants, not what your client wants – the story should be relevant and tied to the news in some way. Give the right angle that’s going to appeal to that news outlet and they will bite!
- Customization is Key: All panelists pointed out how annoying it is to receive the same generic pitch over and over again. This goes hand-in-hand with doing your homework and knowing the audience. It’s so important to keep your pitches customized for each and every outlet you are reaching out to.
And finally, when the local news is interested, they are interested – so don’t keep them waiting. Be prepared with all assets and be responsive!