Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What to Say When You're on the Phone with the Press

Getting the media's attention and developing a great story is one thing. However, when you have but only 30 seconds in the best of times to convince a journalist of the value of your story, you've got to get your message right. Just as a telemarketer or sales person invests time in writing down the essentials of their sales pitch, you've got to do the same in your media pitch.

Start first with a very brief introduction of yourself. Forget telling them right off the bat why you're calling (you haven't got time!). Instead, jump right into the exciting aspect of your story. For example, 'did you know that xyz product prices have jumped in price by 50% in just the last two weeks?''

Next, it's essential you get into exactly why this little factoid is so important to their readers/viewers/listeners. This is where your advance research into the beats covered by your targeted media comes in.

It's only there and then that IF you've captured their interest, you can get into some of the other specifics such as your credentials.

Make sure ever word you deliver counts! To give you an idea of what I mean, here's a successful example script I delivered to a targeted media list:

Hi, is _________ there? This is Mark Buzan, I'm calling you tofollow upp on an interesting trend that seems to be happening in _______ (small business, HR, internet) nowadays.

More and more, people are going online to bid for the services of freelancers. This is really interesting because it means people starting out a business have a real shot at quickly accessing a clientele base. For those looking for an economical way of meeting their needs, they now have the opportunity to have people from all over the world bid on their project but in the inverse way of Ebay.
Did you get the release from FUGUS.com?

They're new and Canadian taking on the bigger established business of elance.com.

Is this something of interest? I could arrange an interview with Chad Karroum - a Canadian, the innovator of this site who has launched two other successfulul online ventures.

Have any comments or questions? I'd love to hear them!

Mark Buzan is the owner of Action Strategies, a public affairs & marketing communications consultancy. You can subscribe now to his monthly PR & marketing tips newsletter by visiting www.actionstrategies.ca and dropping down the newsletter menu.

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