It’s no secret that today’s journalists are overworked. Newsrooms are operating on fewer and fewer people, which means most reporters are ridiculously strapped for time and have to be very selective about which stories they take on. In turn, PR professionals are having a tough time reaching media contacts who simply don’t have the bandwidth to pay attention. This has been the case for a while, but it became very clear to me recently when a reporter sent the following message in response to my suggestion that she have a brief conversation with a client to discuss a story idea:
Under normal circumstances I’d say sure, but we are so understaffed these days that I am trying to limit my meetings to ones that have a 99% chance in turning into instant stories. I cover way too much stuff, and don’t have time to write half of what I uncover. I feel like my mind is a sieve. Hopefully things will settle down when the economy improves and magazines start restaffing.
It’s safe to say this reporter’s words express what thousands of journalists are feeling. They are under so much pressure and such tight deadlines that even if they see value in a PR person’s story idea, they can’t afford to pursue it unless they’re certain it will pan out and be worth their time.
That said, certain pitches still resonate. How can you reach out to overly busy journalists and still have a chance of getting through? The key is putting yourself into the shoes of a reporter and pitching accordingly. Here are some tips:
As a firm offering expertise in marketing, PR, and in the last few years, social media, you would think we would be old pros at navigating the blogosphere. And we are. Nearly every person at Walker Sands has been blogging for years on a diverse range of subjects.
But never before have we had a Walker Sands focused blog. Today that changes.