Public Relations and Reporters

As a reporter I always get a kick out of hearing about the secrets of success used by pirates of the public relations world, all the special methods and techniques implemented by these crafty folks to get their press releases published and the story about their clients into the promised land of print or television media.What stills surprises me the most, speaking as a professional who has worked on both sides of the fence — yes, I have a lot of experience in the land of public relations, too — are the tactics these people use and the promises they make to their clients, offering them the moon and stars if they sign with them.Let’s face it, press coverage is golden. There’s nothing more valuable than a member of the media taking you and your story and presenting it to thousands of potential clients and customers. The very fact that a reporter takes the time to put your story in print means you are respected, are offering something no one else can and that you are doing something so absolutely right that it can’t be passed up — or at least that’s what the reader of said piece will believe.

Reporters can be a special breed (yes, I’m referring to myself here). We love it when someone comes to us with a great story, with all the ducks in a row, all the facts ready to go. We want the simple answer to a complicated question and we want it now. We want interesting stories about people, communities, businesses, everything and in our hectic lives, want them now, before deadline and we want people who are going to help us find those stories — today. Plus, if someone wants my time for an interview, I want to know they’re prepared to take my time.And they have to give me respect. I’ll give them that time if they give me their respect. If not, they get a lot less of my attention. It’s pretty well understood in my world that people in public relations use us as their tools, devices in which to help them make more money and bring their clients a respect from the general public. Honestly, though, sometimes people have to come to me more than once before I find the importance of their story and hit me over the head a couple times and establish a relationship with me, and over time, I, as a reporter, will have your back.But when I’m used as a tool, as is the case far too often, mostly by public relations professionals offering their clients the world, I give them very little of my time, if any, simple as that.That said, press releases, and public relations professionals who are honest and passionate about you and your business and its story should certainly work with you to try and get you coverage. But, by no means can they guarantee you coverage. It’s impossible. If someone tells you they can, walk away and buy yourself a cup of coffee with the money you saved by not going with them.Also, press releases and press materials do not have to cost a lot of money to produce. In my opinion, people should not be getting charged $25, $50, $75, $100, $150 an hour or any other grossly over-priced amount to create a press release and send it out for you. Sure, they have the contacts, but they’re not working six or eight hours on your release. It might take an hour to create, perhaps two.Instead, go with a public relations company that charges a flat fee; a company that’s going to do the same for a lot less, one that’s not going to treat you or the press like tools at their disposal.

Actually, because of everything I’ve already explained here, it’s one of the reasons I created charge a flat fee to write a press release no matter how long it takes to write, another flat fee to distribute the release online and another flat fee to distribute it manually to print, radio and television outlets. Each flat fee is only $50. At a $150 total for all three options, that price is unbeatable anywhere in the country.Plus, I understand what reporters and members of the media want, what they’re looking for and how to give it to them in their language and I work to build relationships with members of the media in your market so that over time, they will always be receptive to your needs and maybe, they’ll start calling you directly for a news story like I do now with some of my sources.To learn more, simply click on []