A cornerstone of our media relations philosophy is to always engage in a dialogue with a journalist, taking the time to find out their specific interests and preferences and to build a strong relationship.
So when we received an opportunity to attend Business Wire’s 50th anniversary event, Meet the Media, featuring an expert panel of local journalists discussing characteristics of effective pitching and current trends in journalism, we had to make sure we were in the audience.
As we expected, it was well worth our time.
The format led to an excellent discussion that ranged from insight about uses of social media to best practices for pitching a story, with actionable steps surrounding each topic. Key points either reinforced what we already knew or brought up interesting points that were not immediately apparent, such as the importance of easily-accessible photos in the increasingly digital age. Each insight re-emphasized our belief that an ongoing dialogue with the media is crucial to be able to work effectively and efficiently together.
We would like to extend a special thanks to the panelists, Keith Darcé, biotechnology writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Bruce Bigelow, editor of Xconomy, and Joe Guerin, editor of the San Diego Daily Transcript, as well as moderator Katie Easkins, vice president of Lewis PR, for their time and participation. We hope you found it as helpful as we did!
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Tagged Andaz Hotel, best practices, Bruce Bigelow, Joe Guerin, Keith Darce, Lewis PR, media relations, Networking, public relations, Relationship building, Russo Partners, San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Union-Tribune, Xconomy
Receiving an award is a great way for a company to raise its profile and
gain recognition for its technology or therapeutic. Throughout the year multiple award programs are applicable to our clients, including The Scientist’s Top 10 Innovations, the MIT International Technology Awards and the honor our client CDI received this week, The Wall Street Journal’s 2011 Technology Innovation Gold Award.
Before Russo Partners begins the process of submitting a client for consideration for an award, several criteria must first be met. It is important to understand the award and what is needed in order to be considered. What is the publication looking for? What does a company need to have in order to qualify? This can also be determined by looking at past winners and verifying that the company is similar to others in the category; for instance, you might consider whether a company also has an innovative technology in the vein of a past winner or is comparable in size to one that came before.
Secondly, the award must support the client’s communications objectives. Will this award benefit perception? Is the award credible? An award from The Wall Street Journal or The Scientist is highly regarded by others in the investment and scientific communities and is undoubtedly beneficial for our clients. Receiving an award from a prestigious publication raises awareness and adds validation to the technology or therapeutic being recognized.
As CDI’s recent recognition demonstrates, when all of these pieces are in place, the payoff is certainly worth it.
Below are links to The Wall Street Journal article about the winners, the article profiling CDI and a video describing the winners.
The Wall Street Journal Article About the Winners
The Wall Street Journal Article Profiling CDI
Wall Street Journal Video Describing the Winners
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Tagged Awards, best practices, CDI, Cellular Dynamics International, innovation, public relations, Russo Partners, strategy, Technology, Technology Innovations Awards, Wall Street Journal, WSJ
Over the years, Russo Partners has acquired a lot of knowledge about the best practices when conducting media relations. Below are our top three pieces of advice.
Do Your Research
No matter how engaging your pitch is, if your news isn’t relevant to a publication, a journalist will not cover it. Conducting background research for the publication and journalist to find out what type of news they are interested in, what the journalist specifically covers and what they have previously published will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your pitches. And when a journalist receives a pitch with news that is targeted for their specific audience, it is that much more likely they will read your pitches in the future.
The first question we always ask journalists when they pick up the phone is “Did we catch you at a good time?” Journalists are extremely busy people with increasing responsibilities and decreasing time to complete them in. Trying to pitch a story to a journalist when they are slammed and working on deadline isn’t helpful for either of you. A better idea is to ask when a good time to reach them would be and follow up later.
One of the best ways to improve your pitching and learn about the publication is to ask certain key questions. Which topics are you interested in right now? What news is catching your eye? Would certain sources of information be helpful to you right now? Gaining insight into what a journalist is looking for is extremely helpful for them and knowing what they are looking for will improve your ability to successfully pitch them.
These tips will ensure that you maintain a respectful relationship with journalists that will lead to them looking out for your pitches specifically, and, if you are really doing a good job, they may even begin to call on you for stories and sources.