3 phrases to omit from your next conversation with a journalist

Drop one of these tired statements in an email or a chat with a reporter and you can bet your pitch isn’t going anywhere—except the trash bin.

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1. “Never seen anything like it.”

Few things make a journalist roll his or her eyes more than hearing how your product is “brand new and innovative.” What your company invented and sells might be incredibly cool and exciting. It could sell millions and make everyone rich. In the meantime, let’s keep the hyperbole down and not act like it’s going to change the planet. Keep it in perspective. Have confidence it’s a great product, but don’t put it on a pedestal, especially when pitching to journalists. They’ve heard it all before.

2. “When can we expect this to go up?”

What’s more obnoxious than a pushy PR person? A pushy PR person who wants everything to happen right now! We all want our very important stories to go up as soon as possible. However, pestering the poor, exhausted, and overworked reporter on the other end of the phone won’t do anything to hurry the process. It may even set it back, perhaps indefinitely.

Instead of inquiring about how long it will take the journalist to do his or her job, try thanking that person for his or her time and move on. If it airs, it airs. If you don’t hear anything for a few weeks, send one email. I repeat: one email. If they respond, count your blessings.

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