Reporters and PR Pet Peeves

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Last week’s Events and Arena Marketing Conference (#EAMC2015) was packed with plenty of great panels and roundtables for this year’s attendees. One of our favorites was “Putting the ‘P’ in PR — Pitches, Practices and Pet Peeves.”

Michael Barnes from The Hollywood Reporter, Gerrick Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times and La Opinion’s Josep Parera spoke about what works and what flops as far as grabbing the media’s attention and optimizing your press announcements.

We heard the typical complaints about lengthy, text heavy press releases (with long boilerplates), odd emails and phone calls based on something a reporter recently tweeted, inviting contacts to late night parties with a “cash bar” (haha) or sending the same thing to multiple contacts at the same outlet.

But there are two that stood out that we wanted to share with you. Still happening after years of warnings from your fellow colleagues, PR bloggers and media contacts — these two pet peeves of reporters are easily solved. Start being “PR awesome” and stop the tactics below:

1) NO ATTACHMENTS PLEASE.

Stop sending attachments on your pitches. Stop sending attachments that are large files. No one wants to load an 80MB email on their phone. So, how about we all stop clogging their inboxes with attachments? Emails with large (or any) attachments are also susceptible to being caught in spam filters. Now, once you and the reporter are engaged and actively working on the project, you’ll know what it is they specifically need and how to send that content to them. Speaking of which…

2) NO EXPIRATION DATES.

With the advent of file transfer services such as WeTransfer and HighTail, comes a new way for PR pros to send large files such as high resolution images and digital press kits, via email. All recipients have to do is click a link to view and download the files to their devices — unless of course, the link is EXPIRED!

If you are going to send a link to view and download a press kit about your event and the reporter tries to access that link when they decide to write a piece, it better be working because they likely will not have time to track you down the week of your event. Go ahead and pony up for the “pro” accounts so you can choose or modify your expiration date. Or use a Dropbox link and custom bit.ly to share a branded folder that can easily be viewed and downloaded by your recipients, as long as the folder is active on your account.

Stick to these tips and keep your media contacts (and clients) happy!

-Dan Grody, TGPR