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    Ten Takeaways from the Annual PRSA Colorado Media Roundtable


    PRSA Colorado Media Roundtable

    By Lauren Merideth and Regina Martel, members, PRSA Colorado Communications Committee

    The annual PRSA Colorado Media Roundtable is one of the most popular events of the year among members, and this year’s program didn’t disappoint.  More than 70 attended the Sept. 26 luncheon, which included reporters, producers and editors from a number of local broadcast, digital and print outlets.  On the menu this year: tips, advice and lots of engagement between members of the press and members of PRSA Colorado. Below are some top takeaways members received:

    1. Know your audience. Each reporter is different in how they like to receive a story pitch. While Mitch Jelniker from Denver7 is receptive to email, Stan Bush from Denver’s CBS4 prefers text. Get to know your media contacts and their beat. Ask them how they want to be reached. Arguably, media relations is about cultivating relationships with members of the media. Attending events like the Media Roundtable can help you build those relationships.

    2. Respect their brand. Stations are “doubling down on their brands” to set themselves apart from the competition, says Stan Bush from CBS4. Knowing the outlet’s brand and being able to articulate how your story supports that brand can help you secure coverage.

    3. Magazines need advanced notice. 5280 Magazine, for example, determines its editorial calendar one year in advance. Co-editor Mary Clare Fisher’s advice: submit content four months before publication date.

    4. Translate technical, legal and/or foreign terms. When pitching Spanish-language media for example, be prepared to provide a “transcreation” or translation of industry-specific language. Translating your news release shows that you know their audience, and importantly, care about their time as reporters. However, Paulina Rivera, publisher of Colorado’s leading Hispanic-owned bilingual news publication La Voz, warns “translations are only helpful if they are perfect.”

    5. Think like a journalist. When pitching your story, be able to explain how your story “localizes” a larger trend.

    6. Pitch the character, not the story. Facilitate access to a strong, local individual who can tell your story better than a third-party news release. “It doesn’t mean anything if there isn’t a character behind the story,” says CBS4’s Stan Bush.

    7. A strong “why” makes a strong pitch. 5280’s Mary Clare Fischer evaluates a pitch by really looking at the “why” behind the story. “Why does it matter; why is it relevant to my audience.”

    8. Make digital the goal. Web stories are getting more views than live broadcasts, says Mitch Jelniker of Denver7. Add the digital editor to your media list with an understanding that online-only coverage often leads to higher engagement.

    9. Provide multimedia content. Shoot video content on your smartphone for broadcasts, says Denver7’s Mitch Jelniker. Creating a “tripod” by holding your wrist with your opposite hand can help steady the camera in a pinch.

    10. Be timely by following-up. For example, watch the live broadcast and then immediately send supplementary content or offer up individuals to help expand the storyline. This approach demonstrates a commitment to the story and to the audience and provides you an opportunity to secure follow-up coverage.

     

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