Michael Smart delivered a solid repeat performance on June 29 of his two half-day workshops: Pitching Bootcamp and Building Media Relationships

Session One – Pitching Bootcamp: by Ana Pinilla, BusinessWire

Michael SmartThe Morning Session “Pitching Bootcamp” started with Michael talking about the problems PR practitioners can encounter when pitching journalists and went on to offer his “pitching playbook” where he discussed several examples of how to do it right – starting off with turning a press release from boring to glowing – making it into something newsworthy that journalists will want to use as part of their reporting.  It’s also about finding the angle for the story – one that could be holiday or seasonally related, a story with human impact, or even proximity to where we live and work, as well as other ideas. Michael went on to discuss the anatomy of a perfect pitch that included appropriate phone and/or email introductions and how to deliver the story with speed and interest. But with all this being said, success also depends on knowing the journalists – what they write about and knowing their style. What was particularly helpful was that Michael provided audio and video examples of pitches – with lots of do’s and don’ts – that made it all so much easier and real to attendees.

 

Session Two – Going Beyond the Pitch: Why Relationship Building Matters: by , News Generation

Michael SmartAs PR pros, we know the importance of building and strengthening our relationships with reporters. This was the focus of PRSA-NCC’s recent series of workshops with media relations expert Michael Smart. During the workshops, Smart offered participants hands-on, practical tips and social media suggestions on how to engage and build relationships with members of the media.

The most important theme he stressed is that you must invest in your relationships with the media. Invest the time and brain space. It is a critical component of your job and helps us be more effective at what we do.

Also, pay attention to what journalists are covering. Engage with their material. Show them that you are following them, that you genuinely care about what they’re reporting. Doing so will help separate you from other PR pros. Learn their style and pitch them in a personal, customized way, and become a credible resource to journalists. When pitching, it’s equally important to show that that we’re respectful of a journalist’s time and deadlines.

(*re-published from News Generation: http://www.newsgeneration.com/2016/07/01/relationship-building-matters-michael-smart-prsa/)

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How “The Avengers” Boosts PR Results

By Michael Smart (MichaelSMARTPR)

I will be sharing a bunch of media pitching tips and techniques during the Nov. 2 seminar for PRSA-NCC. I’d like to share one in advance.

I’m big on using pop culture to land positive placements. Here’s an example….

A sober and geeky disaster analysis company landed several dozen media placements, including Bloomberg, the Guardian, and Gizmodo, with one connection to the movie “The Avengers.”

The analysts worked up an estimate for how much it would cost to repair damage to Manhattan caused in the film’s climactic scene. The answer ($160 billion) is beside the point – isn’t the idea alone a great way to naturally create a story journalists and bloggers would love to tell?

Keep in mind, I’m not talking about merely offering your experts as sources for ongoing news. That’s working great for prominent divorce attorneys in the wake of the latest celebrity breakup, but is not a surefire way to ensure you are a part of the resulting stories.

Kinetic Analysis Corp got loads of free publicity — that is on-message for them – by delivering a value-add to journalists and bloggers already looking for new angles on the year’s top film. Instead of offering themselves as one source among many who could comment on a given natural disaster, they produced a deliverable that required mentioning them in any resulting story.

So next time you’re chatting with your friends about a pop culture phenomenon, take a few minutes and brainstorm any potential ties your organization might have.

Not just what you can SAY about it, but what you can DO about it.

You might surprise yourself and end up with the next media relations blockbuster.

To register for “Perfect Pitching: Winning over Journalists and Bloggers in the New Media Landscape,” click here.

Michael Smart, principal of MichaelSMARTPR, has been landing top-tier coverage for 14 years. He’s also trained more than 3,000 communicators across the globe how to boost their media and blog placements, including pros from Allstate, Disney, Verizon, Edelman, Fleishman-Hilliard, the EPA, a U.S. Senator’s office and many other companies, associations, and non-profits, large and small. Michael has twice been a top-rated presenter at the PRSA International Conference, and he partners with PRSA to offer daylong pitching workshops and national webinars on the topic.