Texting, posting, tweeting, liking, commenting, following, emailing. Key verbs for interacting with reporters? Yes, but what about CALLING? I still believe in the power of the phone call to get reporters’ attention. They generally discourage it and I respect that, but I rarely get a complaint when I do phone them. I also am respectful of their time and deadlines when I call.
A call, even if it’s a voicemail, can point them to your email amid the hundreds they get all day. It can entice them to check out your business or client web site, and it’s part of your brand awareness to a key audience.
In fact, today, I credit my calls in helping earn major placements for my client in:
- Chicago Tribune — a third page story in the front section of the paper
- Tribune Local — serving the local community online and in print
- Daily Herald — serving Chicago suburbs with versions in print, online and in video
And since the Tribune covered my client’s story, the Tribune-owned WGN-TV aired photos during the evening news!
Without making my calls these stories may not have happened. An email alone would have probably gotten lost in the deep dark inbox hole at the those outlets.
I always follow some important rules when phoning reporters:
- Ask first if they’re on deadline and say you’ll call them back if they are
- Know what they write about and be knowledgeable about why your pitch is news
- Believe in your client. It’s easier to cold call a reporter when your gut says you’ve got great news to spread.
What’s been your experiences phoning the media? Leave a comment or let me know if I can help.