Dos and don’ts for congratulating a journalist

Did a reporter who covers your beat just win an award? Here’s how to offer kudos, without looking like a kiss-up.

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Be aware of things like writing, editing, and photography awards. They don’t mean a hill of beans to the success of the newspaper, but journalists think they are a very big deal. I worked in newsrooms for 22 years, won many awards, and they were a huge deal.

How do you congratulate them without kissing up? Here are seven ideas:

Send a handwritten note. Most well-wishers would cop out with an email. But you want to zig when everybody else is zagging. A postage stamp and a few minutes of your time are a cheap price to pay to stand out from the crowd.

Send a congratulatory tweet. Link to an article about the award so others who follow the journalist can read it.

Post congratulations on his or her Facebook wall (if you’re Facebook friends, of course.) And give the URL for the article announcing the award. You can also link to the winning article or project.

Create a short “way to go!” video and email the link. With a little editing, you can also provide the link for the winning project. Consider posting the video to their company’s website. (Or ask the journalist if it’s OK to post the video to YouTube.)

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