When you’re working in the nonstop, always on-the-go world of PR, expect to put in some extra time during the weekends. That nice Saturday morning can turn into making phone calls, ensuring events run smoothly, clients are happy, etc. When you do have events during the weekend, it’s a given that you have to make your round of phone calls to the news desks and hope that you score media coverage. For those of you don’t know what the news desks are, it’s who you call to get a reporter or videographer out on the field. News desks assign story ideas to their crew to go out and cover. However, it can be a little intimidating making those calls since the person on the other line seems to always be in a rush and so eager to finish your conversation. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of nice people at the news desks that I’ve worked with, but there are also those who can be a little, well, mean. So, here are a couple of tips to build up your confidence and bring out your fearless PR self:
- Before you make the call, make sure you know what you’re pitching. If it’s an event, get to the point immediately as to what it is and why it’s worthy of covering.
- If you get interrupted, don’t be discouraged. Remember, news desks get hundreds of phone calls a day. You need to reassure them that yours is important.
- Make sure to take down the name of the person you speak to. That way, when you need to follow up on whether someone will be covering your story, that person is already aware of what it is, where it is, etc.
- When you get told to stop calling, don’t take it so personal. Although email is a great way to send information about a story idea, it’s always good to repitch it via phone. Think about how many emails each news station gets in an hour… yours probably just went in the trash.
- Always be friendly. When you work in the media, everyone knows everyone. You don’t want to establish a bad reputation for yourself that may potentially go around from station to station.
Tell me about your experience with news desks. Have they been your friends or foes? -xxJ