Send a press release via email at the following times:
12:30 and 1:00 PM for reporters at daily newspapers (Most reporters at daily newspapers report for work at 12:00 PM.)
9:30 and 10:00 AM for reporters at weekly newspapers, radio and television stations
Reporters get loads of emails and it is very easy for them to miss your big news. If you contact them after they have arrived for work and settled in, then they will be more likely to read your email. Of course, reporters, being as busy as they are, don’t always respond right away, so it is necessary to…
Make a follow up phone call or email one week later at the same time.
Think about how much spam mail and how many telephone calls you get in one day. Multiply that by 100 and you’ll have an idea of what a reporter has to deal with each day. This is all the more reason to follow up with a reporter. I find that it helps to alternate between phone calls and emails, since there are times when a reporter doesn’t check his or her email and there are times when a reporter doesn’t answer the phone. Doing both increases your chances of getting a hold of the reporter.
Go easy on the special announcements
Yes, your news is important, still reporters get hundreds of special announcements, so what makes your news more special than anyone else’s? It is better to frame the information into news the reader or audience can use. Unless you are working for someone who just won the Nobel Prize, there is no need for hyperbolic press releases.
Go easy on the exclusives
Related to the above item, as wonderful as your organization is, it is one of many organizations out there doing similar work. Unless someone in your organization won the Nobel Prize or discovered the cure for the common cold, offering your news exclusively to one reporter is not the best thing to do. If the news turns out to be not that fabulous, your creditability goes way down. No one wants to be the PR professional who cries “Exclusive”, so don’t do that.
Of course, there are times when you do all the right things when it comes to pitching the media and they still ignore you. That’s when it is good to remember that you are just one of many people vying for a reporter’s attention. There are times when you get through and times when you don’t. When you do and it leads to a news story about your client or organization, it’s like hitting a home run.