Saturday, March 08, 2008

Brass Tack #11 - Target your information to a named journalist

Following on from #10, journalists respond better to people they know and like. Even if you are not on first-name terms with recipients of your news releases, you should at least indicate you know their name. A press release addressed to ‘the Editor’ or, even worse a guessed title (e.g. ‘Entertainments Editor’ of a newspaper that doesn’t employ anyone with that job title) is likely to get binned, shredded or passed on to the least competent person in the newsroom to write about you.

Knowing the name of your journalist doesn’t guarantee sympathetic coverage however. There are numerous media contacts databases that you could subscribe to obtain up-to-date names of journalists for every publication imaginable, such as MediaDisk, FeaturesExec and Gorkana.

The downside of these is that they can encourage PR people to send out multiple copies of press releases to hundreds of ‘named’ journalists in the hope that one or two of them might actually use the story. This approach might work for spammers but take my word for it – journalists do not take kindly to finding their inboxes cluttered up with emailed press releases sent by PR people who haven’t done their research.

If you don’t believe me, read this…

Filed under:
media relations       press release       journalists      media contacts       databases      MediaDisk      FeaturesExec      Gorkana      The Long Tail

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