A news release – with timely information, all the names of those mentioned in it spelled correctly and a contact phone number or email address for any questions a reporter may have – is just part of what’s helpful to a journalist these days.
What else could a good reporter possibly need or want? No, not lunch (although that’s a lovely idea) or free tickets to an event you’re sponsoring (although again, how nice).
As the size of many media staffs shrink, two of the most helpful items a PR or marketing firm can offer their media friends are photos and video.
Sure, anyone – including a cub journalist – can take a picture or video with their cellphone or tablet. But, for most journalists who are covering multiple beats and scrambling to get their news up on Twitter before anyone else, having readily available photos and video is a godsend.
Why? Because it’s one less thing they have to do.
Plus, chances are your companies already hire a photographer and videographer to do that for you. So, why not put a smile on a journalist’s face – and improve your media relations by leaps and bounds – by sharing photos and video with them.
There are some important things to know before you just snap a mugshot of your spokesperson and attach it to a press release. (Although if that’s what you’re doing you’re already several steps ahead of many PR/marketing companies.)
Sally Scherer worked in journalism for 20+ years, as a reporter and editor. Most recently she was the lifestyles, business and education editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com. She is currently a freelance writer/editor and Wiser Strategies collaborator.