Rabu, 06 Februari 2008

Media Follow-up Tips

by Anthony Mora

I have worked to position my firm as a resource instead of a sales force. This is particularly important to keep in mind when calling producers or editors to follow up on a pitch. Go in with a bullying, used car salesman approach and you've already lost the battle. They don't need you and if you push them, they will make that absolutely clear. You might not find that fair, but this isn't about fair, this is about what works. I knew one person who used to call up editors and producers and angrily give them a piece of his mind whenever they ran a piece on his competitor's product. The sad part was that his product was superior to that of his rival, but, because of how he dealt with the media, he was avoided like the plague. No one wanted to do a story on his product, because no one wanted to do a story on him.

Don't waste your time trying to convince the media why you are right or trying to make a hard sale. Your objective is to meet their needs and, in turn, meet yours. And you meet their needs not by pitching a product or a service, but by giving them a good, compelling story.

If you are going to make follow-up calls, initially concentrate on your local media. The local press will usually be more open to your calls and pitches. Keep your calls brief (three to four minutes maximum) and be polite. Be up and enthusiastic. Don't spend your time explaining why yours is the best store or product in town, or why they will be missing the story of the century if they don't use your idea - everyone tells them that. Never beg or berate the media. You're calling to introduce yourself, make sure they have the information, and ask if they need any other corroborating information. Don't sound intimidated and certainly don't try to intimidate. Be upbeat and polite. Listen to the editor's or producer's feedback. If the person on the other line can't talk, acts harried, or says no, remember, chances are you caught him or her right in the middle of a story deadline. Don't push it. Politely say thank you and hang up.

If the person on the other line starts a dialogue or asks you questions, be open, keep the conversation going, but don't try to do a sales job. You are not there to sell anything, but to offer a great, appropriate story idea and to be a resource. Find out if there are any stories they are currently working on that you could help out with. Find out what kind of stories that particular editor or segment producer usually works on.

Your initial follow-up call is to make sure that your information arrived and was seen by the right person, and to introduce yourself. Keep the call short, polite, and very much to the point. Be courteous and quickly get off the phone. Although it is almost impossible to be effective by simply sending out press releases or media information, be prudent in the calls you make. Without follow-up calls, media placement is often a real crapshoot, yet the wrong kind of follow-up calls will knock you out of the game completely.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008

For further information visit: www.AnthonyMora.com

About the Author

Anthony Mora began his media career as a freelance journalist for such publications as Us, Rolling Stone and other local and national publications. He served as editor-in-chief of two Los Angeles-based entertainment and lifestyle-oriented publications, and co-founded Phillips & Mora Entertainment, a public relations and personal management company, which ventured into video and film production.

In 1990, Anthony formed Anthony Mora Communications

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