Journalism

Think Like a Reporter to Get Media Coverage

Getting coverage for your business or organization isn’t always easy. But as a former reporter, I have some insight that can help you increase your chances of getting media coverage. Follow these tips to increase your success rate. 1. Cruise the news  Read the news every day – especially news related to your industry. Knowing what is being written in your industry gives you a chance to identify information holes. What AREN’T they covering that they should? When you can fill this news hole, you become a valuable asset to reporters who cover your industry. Cruising the news daily also teaches you who covers your beat so you can...

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Five Words That You Should Just Stop Writing Completely!!!!!

A shrewd fellow named Bubba Sparxxx once said, “get it right, get it tight.” We like to think he was referencing his approach to effective copywriting. A strong writer knows how to nix the word clutter and keep writing concise. If you didn’t know Lorrie Walker Public Relations also provides stupendous writing services, now you do. Our writing philosophy centers on the elimination of “fluff”- those empty words that say nothing and lend an amateur tone to your work. An abundance of word fluff is bad for business and litters otherwise well written content. Consumers who aren’t particularly English-savvy can still identify poor...

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Why Reporters Aren’t Attached to Attachments

When it comes to pitching your story to a reporter, don’t- I repeat, don’t- send an attachment. There was a time when I thought a thorough – AKA lengthy – pitch and slew of attachments containing relevant information (press releases, headshots, fact sheets and source sheets) ensured that my story would get coverage. This was a delusional time in my life where I must have thought I was some pitching super hero who could be heard shouting, “Fear not, desperate reporters who sit and twiddle your thumbs all day waiting for a story idea; read my four paragraph pitch and multiple three-page attachments and not only will you have...

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Patch and Release- AOL Unloads Floundering Hyperlocal Sites

Six years, $300+ million and 800 towns later, AOL has admitted it has no way of fixing Patch. It sold majority interest on Wednesday. Full story here. The gist of this story is that hyperlocal blogs aren’t scalable. It states that the only hyperlocal blogs that have been successful seem to be those that emerged organically, and frequently are driven by a single person. I can vouch for that. Remember the heyday of Lakeland Local? This hyperlocal blog started by former Lakeland resident Chuck Welch was wildly popular for years, until Welch relocated out of state. After his departure, Lakeland Local never was the same. Chuck was the heart and...

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Tampa Public Relations Firm Weighs In On Plagiarism

It seems so basic- write your own words. Do your own research. Conduct your own interviews. And yet, every so often we learn of another journalist caught plagiarizing another’s work. This is the case recently at Ocala Magazine. You can read about it here. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind to avoid plagiarism: – Cite your sources. It’s ok if you find good information that you want to use in an article, but you MUST give credit where credit is due. – Use direct quotations, but remember that you also must cite your sources when you paraphrase someone’s remarks. – Whenever possible, gather the...

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Lakeland, Florida Article Writer Weighs In On Elance Bid Request

I joined elance.com about a year ago because one of the clients I write for prefers to manage their magazine assignments through this site. Now that I’ve been on the site for a while, I’m beginning to get requests for proposals on writing assignments from other companies. I received one this morning that I thought I would share. Here it is, verbatim: Job Description: This is a project for 20 articles at $4.50 per article or less. Your bid MUST be OVER the $50 minimum bid allowed at Elance. I mention this because Elance keeps canceling this project “because it is under the minimum”……..however this is not...

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Obama Advisors & Off the Record Comments

The Associated Press reported today that Samantha Power resigned on Friday as Barack Obama’s advisor after being quoted as calling Hillary Clinton a “monster.” This situation brings to light a very important topic in public relations- off-the-record comments. Power’s comment was made during an interview with The Scotsman: “She is a monster, too- that is off the record- she is stooping to anything.” Power’s fatal flaw is making a statement, then saying it was off the record. That’s not how you do it, and no reporter is obligated to abide by your after-the-fact “off the record”...

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