PR Fish Bowl

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May 5, 2014

A Journalist’s View: 3 Questions From A PR Pro

It’s every intrepid PR practitioner’s dream to get inside the brain of a working journalist and see what makes them tick. In an effort to get there, we are inaugurating a regular feature called “A Journalist’s View: 3 Questions From A PR Pro.” Our first journalist is Lisa Collier Cool, a bestselling author, award-winning health journalist and blogger for Yahoo! inside brainDay in Health.

We knew of Lisa’s coverage of the health field and the topic of pain management. We reached out to her on behalf of our client ZetrOZ, a bio-medical device company with a revolutionary new pain treatment via miniaturized, long duration ultrasound. Lisa was intrigued and is now working on a story for Yahoo! Day in Health.

We asked Lisa to finish the following sentences to help our agency, as well as other PR pros, improve their media relations technique.

I toss any PR pitch that….. is irrelevant to my specialty (health), is focused solely on promoting a product, makes grandiose claims with no evidence to support them (such as a study), gets my name wrong (makes me wonder what else the publicist has gotten wrong), is long and rambling, or pitches “news” that has already appeared all over the place. Also, I ask to be taken off PR lists if the publicist has overly aggressive followup (such as making unsolicited phone calls to my home office).

PR pitches that get my attention always…. offer a news hook to show why my readers want to know about this now, clearly explain what’s new and interesting about the story, and grab attention with the header and first paragraph (or else I won’t read the rest).

The percentage of stories I do based on PR pitches is… about 25 percent. Lisa adds that PR pitches which go beyond what the client is currently “plugging” can trigger other story ideas enabling the good PR pro to increase their coverage.

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