by Penny Sowards, Client Services Representative, Business Wire Charlotte
Business Wire hosted a “Meet the Media” luncheon at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center in Durham on March 15. Panelists included Rick Martinez, News Director, NewsRadio 680 WPTF; Rick Smith, Business and Technology Manager, WRAL-TV, and David Bracken, Assistant Business Editor, The News & Observer. Kristi Lee-John, Principal at Crossroads Public Relations, was moderator.
Panelists discussed current trends in journalism and tips on effective pitching.
Important points made during the discussion:
- Make sure someone from your company is available by phone or email at all times after making an announcement
- Keep the lead information at the top
- Have all answers available if possible
- Pitch should always be professional and go to the appropriate reporters
- Subject line on emails should be “to the point”
- The company website is very important to journalists for gathering information
- Blogs are a great tool and have great potential provided quality is there
- Make an effort to contact the media before 3 p.m.
- No jargon-filled releases
The journalists all agreed that press releases are important and relevant in conveying news to the media. Specific guidelines were discussed on what the media deems a good press releases:
- Headlines should be clear and to the point
- The focus of the news should be at the beginning of the release
- Bullet points are a great tool to create a clear and concise message to the reader
- Multimedia and web links are great added features to make the release more informative and interesting.
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