by Kathy Tomasino, Client Services Representative, Business Wire/Newport Beach
It was a full house last month when Executives and PR professionals from Southern California attended Business Wire Newport Beach’s Meet the Media event in Costa Mesa.
The event was moderated by Daniel Rhodes, VP Public Relations at Global Results Communications, and our panel of experts included Tom Berg from the Orange County Register, Chris Casacchia from the Orange County Business Journal and Kyle Ellicott from TechZulu.
The event was focused on how to best pitch your company’s story to both local and national press and how reporters are now using social media sites such as Twitter for story leads.
Below are a few tips captured from the event:
- Make introductions with a reporter before you pitch your story idea.
- Reporters use social media sites such as Twitter to find story leads.
- Email is the preferred way to pitch over a phone call.
- Have a story and be genuine about how you present it.
- Find a way in – use “nuggets” to grab reporters’ attention.
Although Twitter is a great resource for story ideas, Casacchia advised our audience to only tease their story ideas on such sites and to also use a wire service such as Business Wire for the full press release. (Business Wire does automatically tweet press release headlines via dozens of industry-specific feeds.) Casacchia also recommended that you know your audience when delving into social media. Although social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are great outlets to promote your story ideas, you must only use the outlets that fit your company style and business as not all may work for a bank or law firm, for example.
Ellicott mentioned that mobile ads have a huge potential especially since more and more people are using their mobile phones for news and all other things. Luckily for our clients, all Business Wire press releases automatically feed into the AP Mobile app and other mobile applications.
Berg is a great storyteller and uses sites such as Twitter for story ideas. He recommended our audience use social media to get the buzz going about a story, although the wire is still the first place he will look for news directly from the source.