Los Angeles Media Members Give Tips on Pitching to LA Communicators

April 19, 2010

Business Wire LA hosted a “Meet the Media” breakfast and panel discussion titled “How to Effectively Communicate Your Message” on Thursday, April 15. Local media members shared tips on effectively pitching news media and strategies for forming relationships with media and answered questions from the audience of LA area communicators.

Noemi Pollack (far R), Founder & CEO of Pollack PR, moderated the panel (L-R), which also included:

  • Russ Britt, LA Bureau Chief, MarketWatch/Dow Jones
  • Alberto Mendez, Assignment Editor, KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV
  • Eddie Chan, West Coast Financial Editor, Thomson Reuters
  • Kevin Davis, COO, TheWrap.com

Here are a few soundbites from the panel:

“Hate the Hard Sell”

“Substance Over Style”

“Mobile a Priority”

Download a full audio recording of this event here or check out these pitching tips from the panelists:

  • Be aware of what’s going on in the world & what is news right now.
  • Be aware of who you’re pitching to & understand when it’s appropriate to pitch. If it’s MarketWatch or Dow Jones, for example, don’t send something or try to contact them around market closing. It’s the worst possible time for them. However, some outlets, such as local news channels, are 24 hours. There is always someone on the assignment desk, news never stops for them. It never hurts to pitch the assignment desk. If it’s relevant, it will make it to the right reporter.
  • Panelists agree that double-pitching (sending a pitch to more than one reporter at the same publication) is okay, although it’s nice to ask if they would mind if you send your story along to someone else. Oftentimes, they will even refer you to someone who might be more interested.
  • Journalists still value accessibility, objectivity, timeliness & exclusivity greatly. Keep this in mind when pitching. Make sure to provide contact information, especially an email and cell phone, on your pitch or press release so you are reachable if the journalist needs to get in touch.
  • Although many journalists now embrace pitching through social media and find Facebook in particular to be a valuable source network, email is still the most reliable and easiest way to reach them.
  • In an email pitch, the subject line is the most important part. It needs to be straightforward & compelling enough to get them to open the email. Often, it’s actually only the first part of the subject line because the email program will cut it off.
  • A good pitch is always substance over style. Lots of exclamation points in your pitch does not make it more compelling.
  • Mobile is very important right now for every news outlet in all formats. It’s very important to be able to access news over mobile.
  • When pitching stories at major conferences and events, such as CES or NAB, it’s a good idea to find out who at the publication will be covering the event and get in touch ahead of time.
  • When emailing pitches, NEVER attach ANYTHING. This includes having your logo in your email signature. With many email programs, this comes across as an attachment & will get your email filtered into spam.
  • It’s always a good idea to offer up an expert or spokesperson, especially one that isn’t quoted all the time in that publication or one that is local so they’re accessible (it’s often hard for west coast based reporters to contact east coast based experts). It’s a good idea to provide the reporter with the expert’s bio to prove his or her credibility.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents

Upcoming Business Wire Events – March 29 Edition

March 29, 2010

The Impact of Social Media on Traditional News Reporting

Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Convergence, Citizen and Social Journalism: Strategies on Sending Your Press Release to Today’s Media

Hosted by Business Wire Florida

Join Business Wire Florida for a panel discussion on the changing landscape in media venue, platform and audience. Panelists Cindy Kent, Business News Desk at the Sun Sentinel; Margie Schneider, VP Operations for Ten Golden Rules; and Maria de Los Angeles, South Florida blogger, senior writer and forum editor for Miami Beach 411 will discuss the role of social media in the media world and options to get corporate messages out to industry followers, opinion leaders, stakeholders and the social community. This event is free for all attendees.

Tuesday, April 13 at 8:00am ET
Broward College, Willis Holcombe Center
111 East Las Olas Blvd, 12th Floor Boardroom, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
To register: RSVP to Claudia Perez-Bonilla at 954.474.8833 or email claudia.perez@businesswire.com by April 9

Navigation in Today’s Global-Mobile-Social World: From a PR Perspective

Hosted by Business Wire San Francisco

Take your understanding of the online traditional media and the social media to the next level!  In this session, our panel of experts will address the changing landscape in media venues, platforms and audiences plus best practices to get corporate messages out and talked about in the expansive universe of industry followers, opinion leaders, stakeholders and social community.  They’ll discuss how social media and online search affects news reporting, corporate messaging (traditional and new), and the importance of envisioning the information you wish to deliver, as well as where to deliver it. Business Wire VP of New Media Monika Maeckle moderates a panel including Chris Heuer, Founder, AdHocnium and Social Media Club; Maura Ginty, Customer Experience, Worldwide Marketing, Autodesk; David Toole, CEO, MEDIAMobz; Rachel Polish, Vice President, Ogilvy’s 360 Digital Influence; BJ Fogg, Director, Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University; and Kimarie Mathews, Voice and Customer Experience, Wells Fargo Bank. This event is free for Business Wire members and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, April 15 at 9:00am PST
Autodesk’s Meeting Center
The Landmark @ One Market
One Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
To register: Please RSVP to Sandy Donnelly at sandy.donnelly@businesswire.com or call 415.986.4422 x561 by April 12

Meet the Media: How to Effectively Communicate Your Message

Hosted by Business Wire Los Angeles

Join Business Wire LA for breakfast and a “Meet the Media” panel discussion with local media members Eddie Chan, West Coast Financial Editor-in-Charge for Thomson Reuters; Alberto Mendez, Assignment Editor for KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV; and Kevin Davis, COO for The Wrap.com. The panelists will answer questions from the audience and share their tips for effectively pitching news media, strategies and tactics. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, April 15 at 8:00am PT
Olympic Collection Center
11303 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
To register: RSVP to Garrett Henricksen or Heather Hardge at larsvp@businesswire.com or call 310-820-9473 by Monday, April 12.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


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