I recently attended a Greater Los Angeles Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) lunch program called “Meet the Press – How the Media Cover Commercial Real Estate.” The panel of three real estate reporters/writers included Andrew Khouri from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, Jacquelyn Ryan from the Los Angeles Business Journal and Roger Vincent from the Los Angeles Times.
The three reporters started by providing insight on what kind of material they seek to cover, best ways to reach them, etc. Among the topics that could pique their interest was the “next big thing,” new companies doing significant transactions, and trend stories.
The questions from BOMA members that stood out to me were:
“How come I always see the same individual quoted in your stories?” The reporters admitted that they were guilty of returning to the same reliable resources that they developed relationships with, but acknowledged that they needed new resources in their database. They noted that a reliable resource is one that is always available or gets back to them right away with valuable commentary.
“I spoke with a reporter once and when the story came out, my quote was not what I had said; the reporter didn’t offer to fix it or apologize.” Reporters strive to be as accurate as possible but there are steps that you can take to ensure this, including asking the reporter to repeat the major points back to you to ensure they understand the story. Also, it is always a good idea to send a follow-up email thanking the reporter and at the same time reiterating the correct spelling of your name, firm name etc.
The reporters said never ask what the quote will be but did say that sometimes they will email the quote to the individual to ensure accuracy. They do not welcome or accept edits to the quote – in other words, when people see their quote, they may say – “Well, that’s not what I wanted to say, I wanted to say something more along the lines of….”
Interestingly, the reporters preferred to be contacted by email rather than by phone but in our experience, phone follow-up is how we obtain results for our clients. So although reporters don’t like to be bugged via phone, sometimes you have to take that extra step.
Berbay would be happy to speak with you further about making your experience with the media successful.