4 ways PR pros can write copy that journalists love

If you’re looking to entice a reporter and grab media coverage for your organization or client, consider these secrets from the product manager of The AP Stylebook.

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PR is more than media relations, but gaining press coverage comprises a large part of many communicators’ daily responsibilities.

Seeking a media relations win for your organization or client? Colleen Newvine, a marketing consultant and AP Stylebook’s product manager, shared several writing and pitching secrets that you can use to secure headlines.

Consider these insights:

1. Put journalists first.

Many PR pros write press releases and pitches that focus on the organization, product or announcement they want covered. Instead, try thinking of the reporter and his or her needs.

Newvine says she remembers listening to a colleague expertly pitch journalists on the phone:

… [I]t was so obvious he understood the needs of the reporters he called. He knew what they covered and that he was offering them information that would help them do their jobs. He was their ally.

To test whether your pitch has teeth, Newvine suggests PR pros envision meeting a journalist at an event:

If you went to a party and ran into a reporter you’re going to pitch, would you tell him or her about this story? And would you expect the response to be, “Thanks, that’s interesting!” or “Can you excuse me while I run to the bar?”

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