Publicity: Five Tips for Calling a Reporter

Always ask, "Is now a good time?"

Deadlines in journalism are unrelenting and unforgiving. Using these as your first words after "hello" shows the reporter you're sympathetic to her needs. It also ensures your pitch gets heard when the reporter is devoting proper attention.

Your goal: attract

In your first contact with a reporter, don't come off like a talking encyclopedia. Your job now is to attract and interest them ? not to deliver the whole story yet. Keep it short and enticing.

Offer that reporter a nugget of information they need

The best way to get a reporter's attention: put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself, "What do I know about my topic that would help this reporter do a better job or get a big story?"

Don't go "off the record"

Memorize these words: "There's no such thing as off the record." It's just too risky. If you don't want to see your words splashed across page one, don't let them out of your mouth.

When the interview's over, don't just hang up

Wrap up every media interview or informal chat with a reporter with this question: "What else are you working on?" Finding out what else is on the reporter's plate can line you up to get interviewed for the next story, too.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit http://www.MediaImpact.biz or call 212-243-8383.

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