While some believe this is the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” it can be a particular stressful for public relations professionals.  There can be so much to balance, including staying on a reporter’s “nice list.” To insure you do here are some tips from Katherine Connors from her article 5 ways to stay on a reporter’s nice list this holiday season published by PR Daily.

1. Do your research.  A successful public relations professional is constantly monitoring the news and making a note of the stories a reporter covers.  This knowledge comes in handy when it comes time to pitch a story.  Reporters’ positions and beats are always changing, so PR pros have to stay on top of their game.

2. Write your pitch around your research.  Take the time to write a personalized pitch. Reporters are constantly bombarded with generalized pitches that serve no purpose to them, other than causing frustration and clogging their inbox.  An attention-grabbing subject line referring to a reporter’s recent story will c shows you have been following the reporter’s work.

3. Respect their deadlines.  Reporters, producers, and bloggers all have different news cycles.  Many publications have morning editorial meetings to discuss upcoming features and new ideas. If you are pitching an editorial placement, it’s best to reach out to the reporter or editor before these meetings, as your pitch will be at the top of his or her mind.  If you are pitching a broadcast opportunity, don’t do so when the segment is airing, as it shows that you are unaware of the program’s airing schedule.

4. Careful how you follow up your pitch. After sending your pitch, allow time for a reporter to respond. The last thing a reporter, editor, or producer wants is to hear, “Did you get my email?” when the original pitch was sent only ten minutes prior.  Unless the opportunity is time sensitive—for example, offering an exclusive or embargo—the best practice is to follow up the next day via phone.

5. Monitor for coverage. When a reporter decides to cover your pitch, it adds an extra touch to send a quick thank-you email when the coverage goes live, telling him or her that you enjoyed working together.  This simple exchange shows that you monitored for the story, value the reporter’s work, and look forward to working together in the future.

If you follow these five steps, chances are you will stay on a reporter’s nice list, secure great coverage for your clients and, most importantly, both of you can have a happy and successful holiday season.

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