Welcome (back) to Dern’s PR Tips, my blog of tips for and about PR — how to work with the press (a.k.a. the media), and for members of the fourth estate on working with PR.
“Back” because I’ve (finally) migrated the site from WordPress.com to Pair.com, along with making minor tweaks (different theme, adding the “MORE” break in posts to their main page entry, etc.). Continue reading
I’m looking at follow-up email from a PR rep regarding a possible news story on their client’s product. I can’t remember the vendor or product name, and it’s nowhere to be found in the email message. Continue reading
A fair amount of email from vendors and agencies includes that request, While it’s true that a fair number of sites and print pubs do post/print press releases verbatim or nearly so, that doesn’t mean it’s safe or strategic to lead with that assumption. Continue reading
For product news stories in particular, many publications like (and some prefer or even insist on) a quote from an industry analyst (e.g., from Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Yankee, or one of the independents and smaller groups, like ESG), or other third-party expert. Continue reading
A recent press release on PR News wire had the headline:
Small Businesses Agree: The Web is Dead
and led with “Wired had it right; the web is dying. [REDACTED]s small business customers have shown a distinct preference for managing their documents in the cloud with downloadable applications – both on the iPad and on their Windows desktops – vs. using their browsers.”
So, a, one company’s “opinion” (or its interpretation of one thing their customers are doing) equals this “fact”? (Here’s another possible interpretation of the data: “Our browser access is badly done.”) Continue reading
In writing up a news article based on a (vendor) phone briefing where there were three sources — all male — I’ve added another rule, or at least guideline, to my Best (well, Good Enough) Practices:
When there’s more than one source involved in a (phone) conversation, each time a different person speaks, they need to pause and re-ID who they are, so I can keep track, for quote attribution. Continue reading
I wish press release aggregators would manage topics better.
Because one of my current gigs as a freelance technology writer is doing daily news stories (for InformationWeek SNB), I’m checking several of the press-release aggregating sites daily, like PR NewsWire For Journalists (media.prnewswire.com), and get several summary email messages from BusinessWire.com. Continue reading
Along with feature articles, case histories, and interviews, at times I do news stories. For example, I’ve been doing about four a week for InformationWeek/SMB as of July 2010.
In general, I start with from a press release. Whenever possible, I follow up with a phone call (brokered usually by a PR person) to a company spokesperson to confirm or sort out the facts, and get some additional quotes or other information. Sometimes I also call an industry analyst, occasionally, if one’s available, a user, for additional quotes.
Many of the press releases have enough information to get me started.
But — depressingly — many don’t. Continue reading
For journalists, especially (us) freelancers who get assignments spanning a range of topics and beats, one of the biggest (solvable) challenges is finding sources (appropriate people to talk to for quotes, facts, background information, etc.)
(Harder-to-solve challenges include finding more work, and finding assignments that pay reasonable rates.) Continue reading