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Key Takeaways: PRSA-NY’s Crack the Media Code; Crush It On Air

By Meredith Ulrich | On March 3, 2017

A few weeks ago, I attended PRSA-NY’s event “Crack the Media, Craft Your Pitch, Crush It On Air,” with two media professionals, Paula Rizzo, Senior Producer for Fox News, and former Martha Stewart magazine editor, Terri Trespicio, who offered the inside scoop on what attracts reporters’ attention and gets your story on-air. Here are my top takeaways:

  • Nail the pitch- pitch like a producer. Always ask yourself:
    1. “Why do I care?”
    2. “Why does my audience care?
    3. “Why now?”
    4. “Why you?”
    5. “What’s wrong with this pitch?
  • When pitching, lead with ONE thing. “I can talk about anything” does not help the reporter and, in fact, makes picking up your story less likely. Reporters are busy, and if they have to spend time breaking down your pitch, they will just pass over it. To catch a reporter’s attention, BE VERY SPECIFIC.
  • When pitching, ALWAYS INCLUDE A VIDEO. Reporters won’t even consider booking you for an interview if you don’t include a video clip. They need to know how you look on camera. This clip does not need to be professionally produced; it merely has to prove to the reporter that you’re articulate and relaxed on-air.
  • If you do get booked, remember why you are there. Once you land an interview, remember why they booked you. Why are you perfect for this story? What do know about this topic that no one else does? Do not bring your own agenda – instead provide real information and thought leadership.
  • Be a media go-to. Your relationship with the media doesn’t have to be one-way. Reporters, too, approach experts and are always on the lookout for the right person for the right story.
    1. Be available and flexible. Reporters work on tight deadlines- when they need you, they need you NOW.
    2. Be a resource. Produce content often. If you are pushing out content regularly, reporters will always be wondering what you’re working on now.
    3. Get media trained. Being the top expert in your field isn’t everything. Understand and practice proper etiquette on camera. If you’re the top expert in your industry but can’t perform on-air, you’ll never get booked.


Image(s) used under license from Shutterstock.com

Meredith Ulrich

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