You've heard of Speed Dating? The Utah Valley Chapter of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) recently held an event with reporters called "Speed Pitching." A brave thing to try. If the Greater Salt Lake Chapter had held one, I would have chickened out.
Each PR person had four minutes with a reporter. During that time, she/he attempted to pass along a news story idea. When the buzzer went off, they moved on to the next reporter.
One of the participating journalists, Paul Beebe, admits he came away with several good stories. I'm glad to hear that. But he also has some friendly (and somewhat embarrassing) advice for our profession that should not go unheeded. His story today in the Salt Lake Tribune.
1. Anticipate this question: Why should I care?
2. Bring a business card (some folks last week did not). I expect one. Don't just circle your name at the bottom of your press release.
3. Pitch real stories. Telling me your company is wonderful and your CEO is a great person is usually not persuasive.
Amen Paul, Amen.