Each month, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) holds an “At Breakfast With” event, which allows public relations professionals to network with peers and media representatives. At their August event, the panel consisted of NBC4 Investigative Producer Philip Drechsler, CBS2/ KCAL9 Special Projects Producer Nicolette Medina and KMEX Executive Producer Jacqueline Ramirez. Panelists discussed what they look for in a media pitch, best practices and pet peeves.
- Incorporate photos and videos. Industry professionals know to use strong subject lines and a catchy first sentence when pitching a story; however, the producers also recommended taking an extra step and including a visual element in the pitch, noting that imagery is a powerful way to get a story across.
- Identify viewer benefits. In addition to adding pictures and videos, the panelists also suggested identifying the viewer benefits in the body of the pitch because they want to know how the story affects the community. With longer pitches and press releases, the producers advised outlining the who, what, where, when and why of the story.
- Remember that the process takes time. As PR professionals, we may get excited when we obtain an opportunity to have a client appear on television, and sometimes we get a little too excited. A panelist noted that one pet peeve is when agencies rush producers to get a story on the air. Different producers have a different turnaround time for stories, and the stories need to go through a certain process, including conducting background research, taking interviews, and editing the footage – which takes time.
PRSA-LA is an organization comprised of nearly 600 agency, in-house and independent public relations professionals representing LA-area corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, and strives to keep public relations professionals a step ahead in communications strategies and skills through seminars, networking mixers and At Breakfast With meetings.