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The One PR Mistake You Should Avoid

Author: Rick Frishman   |   November 24th, 2010

Writers, editors, and producers seldom have time to talk with you on the phone. Usually, they’re so busy that even the briefest conversation takes them away from pressing projects. So every second counts!

In the first ten seconds, seasoned news people know…Public Relations, Sales…whether they’re interested in your pitch. You have to grab their interest, appeal to their needs, and make them want more.

When you pitch a busy editor or producer, it’s not a social occasion, so don’t waste their time. Minimize the pleasantries and introductions. Hit them hard and hit them fast—or they’ll turn you off.

Communicate Forcefully and Fast.

Delivering your message forcefully makes your pitch convincing and conveys your enthusiasm. Conviction and enthusiasm are contagious. If others believe you are stirred up with passion, they’ll follow you and work their butts off to help you, which is exactly what you want. Come off lukewarm about your product or service and expect the media to do the same.

The media is impatient and won’t waste time drawing out information or promoting weak spokespersons. Your objective is to get your message across, to be fully understood. So, speak plain English—unless you’re dealing with a special subculture and must prove that you know the lingo—and say it simply, clearly, and fast.

You only have ten seconds—that’s it.

If you can’t deliver a convincing message in ten seconds, the media won’t listen. The first ten seconds will buy you another twenty seconds, so your follow-up must also be strong. Think of your opening as your ace pitcher and your follow-up as your star closer.

If you can’t interest the media after thirty seconds, they’ll either think your story’s weak, you don’t know it well enough, or you’re not prepared. Whichever way, you’re out.

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