PR People: This is for you (redux)

As an editor, it is no surprise that I talk with people in the public relations community from time to time, make that a lot of the time. That said, I thought it might be a good idea to re-post a blog I wrote earlier this year about ideal ways of keeping us editors happy and making sure we are getting what we need from you. Consider this, my holiday gift to you (thank you notes are not necessary….grin).

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As an editor, it is no surprise that I talk with people in the public relations community from time to time, make that a lot of the time. That said, I thought it might be a good idea to re-post a blog I wrote earlier this year about ideal ways of keeping us editors happy and making sure we are getting what we need from you. Consider this, my holiday gift to you (thank you notes are not necessary….grin).

For those PR people out there, please feel free to offer up comments of suggestions of ways editors can work better with you. We are all in this thing together, so please don’t be shy.

And away we go….again:
If you are like me, you are very busy and have a lot of work to do pretty much all of the time. I know this is also true for my friends on the other side of the editorial fence-the PR community.Having worked in PR for roughly five minutes in a previous life, I can relate to your day-to-day challenges, demands, and workload. That said, I thought it might be a good time to use Newsroom Notes to provide some working tips for ways of best communicating with us at LM.

Below is a list of PR do’s and don’ts that I used when participating at a “Meet the Editors” panel at the 2008 Transportation Marketing Communications Association Conference in Ponte Vedra, Florida. But before I give you the list, please remember this:
I am not a PR contact for LM editorial calendar queries. Please send these pitches to Mike Levans at [email protected] and Sarah Petrie at [email protected].

And now, here are some PR guidelines for you. Some may seem overly basic and others may not to be believed…but, believe me, these things happen quite a bit to say the least. Hope you PR folks find it useful.

1-Do NOT call us five minutes after you e-mail us a press release to “gauge our interest” in running it as a story. There is possibly nothing more annoying to an editor than that. If we are interested, we will get in touch. Trust me on that.

2-Do NOT send a press release with a subject line that reads ‘press release,’ with no text and simply an attachment (with the release). If you can’t take the time to write two or three sentences describing what you are sending us, then we will probably not take the time to figure out what it is you are sending us.

3-If we ask you to add our personal and general e-mail addresses to your press list, don’t ‘tell’ us you will add us to the list…actually DO it. Simply put, if you want us to pick up one of your releases, make the effort and take the required steps to make sure this happens. This is basically PR 101, yet it is frightening how many companies/industry organizations overlook this.

4-KNOW the publication before pitching us. Send us press releases, story suggestions and ideas based on what the publication focuses on and its actual readership. In LM’s case, it usually is ‘what is important about this release for shippers?’

5-As an addendum to the previous item, ACTUALLY READ THE MAGAZINE before pitching us. We generally do not care about ‘Joe Smith joining company X as a data entry associate.’ That is simply a waste of time for everyone involved and the person/company sending that type of release should know better. Also, if ‘company x hires a new HR director,’ we do not care. Again, ask yourself if shippers care about something before sending it.

6-If you list a media contact on a press release, make sure that person is equipped to handle any media queries an editor may have. For example, if the media contact is traveling with limited phone/e-mail access, then that person should not be on the release. It only makes sense.
New one added on December 6, 2010:

7. Here is a new one based on something that happened for a call I was “supposed” to have at 10 a.m. If you are running late for a call,  please pick up the phone and tell me that! This is VERY important, you see. This way we can re-schedule the call for later in the day or another date altogether. I find it truly amazing that stuff like this happens with the frequency it does. As part II of this, please send me the dial in number for calls that require them so I am not wasting time tracking you down to get it. Little things like this make a big difference if you want to foster a good working relationship with editors.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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