Most non-hard news stories (e.g. fires, shootings and other disasters) are “pitched” by PR firms. Many of those “pitches” are directly responding to daily PR request services like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and ProfNet.
Reporters need expert/authoritative comment and input on a very wide range of stories. We regularly connect both local and national media with our clients.
Example, U.S. News & World Report put out a PR query that they were working on an article focused on “How to cover caregiving costs”. We connected them with Wendy Adlerstein, LSW, of First Light Home Care and magic happened.
But magic doesn’t come out of thin air. There are a number of important elements to make it happen.
You must DEMONSTRATE your expertise. In Wendy Adlerstein we emphasized her years of experience, education background and gravitas.
Example – Wendy Adlerstein, LSW has more than 20 years experience in working with seniors. She holds a B.A. from Clark University, in Psychology with a concentration in Sociology and Human Services. In addition to her Massachusetts License in Social Work, Wendy holds a Certificate in Gerontology from the Worcester Consortium Gerontology Program.
She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), formerly the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Finally, Wendy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner® in good standing from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners.
Second, the email pitch headline must be enticing.
Example – LSW saves money and saves lives – for – 43) Summary: How to cover caregiving costs – U.S. News & World Report
Third, the body of the pitch should include a couple tips/suggestions in response to the query. These tips/suggestions make it clear that you know your stuff and that you are dead-on.
Fourth, timing is everything. Most PR queries are settled within hours of release. You need to quickly respond to the query and then be available immediately for a phone interview or additional email clarification.
As you help reporters better understand a subject, provide them with colorful quotes and anecdotes and respond in a timely manner, you establish yourself as a great “on-going” source for future stories on similar subjects.
Remember, editors are as desperate for credible, accessible sources as you are for the coverage. Reach out and extend your marketing reach.
We cull Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and ProfNet throughout the day for BOTH retainer clients and a la cart / hourly customers. Let us know if we can connect you to media coverage and help establish you as “the” go to source.