We are journalists who just happen to work in PR

A few weeks ago our Media Relations Department received a great compliment from one of our contacts at a local publication, who told a client of ours: “We like Imagine Marketing because they know how to write newsworthy releases.” This person also said they just toss releases from some local firms because of the poor quality.

This compliment was so meaningful because producing newsworthy content is something we in the Media Relations Department strive for every day – sometimes even to the point of receiving teasing for my unyielding adherence to the AP Stylebook.

So why is it so important to our firm to produce newsworthy content? There are several reasons, actually, but here’s a few:

· Providing media contacts with newsworthy story ideas, which is all they’ll accept anyway, builds trust. Anyone our firm has worked with at any point in time in the past knows that we aren’t going to waste their time. We understand they receive hundreds of PR pitches every day or every week and, if we waste their time, they will no longer give us, and as a result – our clients, the time of day ever again.

· Writing press releases in AP Style and inverted pyramid format, which is the style our media friends write in, makes it easier for them to find the most pertinent information fast. They won’t recognize the newsworthiness of a press release if it’s written so poorly that they can’t quickly find the relevant information (because they won’t read it to the end to figure it out).

· Newsworthy press releases and story pitches give our company, and thus, our clients, credibility in the eyes of the media. Because they deal with tons of PR people all the time, many members of the media don’t always have a favorable view of our industry. However, newsworthy information written concisely and in their style demonstrates that we “get them” and aren’t here to waste their time.

· Newsworthy media pitches referencing hot topics show our media contacts that we know what’s going on in the world and in the community and will actually be worth working with.

· And finally, by combining all of the aforementioned reasons, pitching only newsworthy content builds good will. Although it doesn’t happen often, we do sometimes have to go back to our media contacts and, regardless of who’s to blame, take responsibility for a mistake – a mistake that publicly, our media contact will probably end up taking the blame for. In these situations, we have to draw from our “good will” bank account and, fortunately, there’s plenty of good will left to keep our relationships strong.

Really, as our founder D.J. Allen always says, “We are journalists who just happen to work in PR.”

Melissa Rothermel is the Director for Media Relations for Imagine Marketing.
Contact Melissa at mrothermel@imnv.com
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