There is more information out there than ever before, but thanks to shifts in the media world there are fewer reporters. This means that it can be increasingly difficult to attract the attention a story deserves (or that you think it deserves).
Based on my experience as a network television news producer and my years on the other side of the fence in strategic marketing and communications, I have compiled 10 commandments of media outreach.
1. Thou shall tell a story. Reporters don’t write announcements; they write stories. Too often, press releases and pitches are proclamations or simply announcements. It’s hard enough to sell your pitch without having to make a reporter come up with the story, too. And on those occasions, when they do, it may not be the story you want them to tell.
2. Thou shall make news. Is your announcement really news? And is it new or does it simply rehash old information? Imagine yourself taking a look at the day’s headlines as an average news consumer. Would this story interest you? Remember it’s a reporter’s job to sell stories—first to his or her editor and then to you, the public. If you wouldn’t read it, it’s not a story.