Tuesday, February 15, 2005

From the Horse's Mouth - Tips from Top Business Press Reporters

From my colleague Alyson Goodrow...

According to an array of leading journalists, top business press themes in 2005 include consolidation - be it telecom (MCI and Quest) or software (Oracle and PeopleSoft) - and the digital home.

Bulldog Reporter recently hosted a "PR University" session with five leading technology journalists: Rebecca Blumenstein of the Wall Street Journal, Steven Levy of Newsweek, Eric Savitz of Barron's, John Shinal of MarketWatch, and Olaf Domis of The Daily Deal. They discussed the top technology trends in 2005 and tips for increasing coverage.

What do they hate most? Product pitches. As Rebecca Blumenstein puts it: "Why should we cover a company that's doing what it's supposed to be doing -- making innovative products?" Following up by phone on an email pitch can get you blacklisted. And of course, the ultimate no-no: a deadline day pitch.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They shared some good tips for registering on the biz press radar:
  • Leave the product out of your pitch and focus on the angle. Think about how your client's/company's story fits into today's bigger industry trend.
  • Find a more accessible way to tell your story; focus on an interesting entry point, such as a human interest angle.
  • It's all about email.
These folks look to break big news, which can give them a hook for a larger story on your company. Your best weapon in this coverage-seeking quest is keeping your finger on the pulse of the day's news. Once you've identified the hot topic of the day, think of an angle for your client that helps readers see the news in a new light.

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