By Kate Kanaby
On Friday, Feb. 17, six familiar faces in broadcast media came together to discuss the shifting media landscape with a room full of PR pros. Moderated by Susan Buehler, Chief Communications Officer of PJM Interconnection, the panel included:
- Iris Delgado, Anchor/Reporter, Telemundo 62
- Jodi Harris, Producer, Fox 29
- Paul Kurtz, Reporter, KYW-AM
- Steve McKenzie, Managing Editor, CBS3
- Eugene Sonn, Audio News Director, WHYY-FM
- Tim Walton, Producer, 6abc’s FYI Philly
We talked tips for getting stories on air, PR pet peeves, and even saw some brave colleagues “live pitch” the panelists. Here are a few takeaways from our most recent #PPRAProgram:
- Producers and reporters get hundreds of pitch emails each day – make yours cut through the clutter. Your pitch must be timely, relevant, and as always, a catchy subject line is key. Jodi Harris stressed follow ups if you don’t hear back from her, but Iris Delgado had one request: “Don’t call me 15 minutes before air time.”
- Know the outlet’s audience, and make your story relevant to them. Steve McKenzie reminded us that when he’s reading pitches, he’s asking himself, “Will my viewers care about this?” Meanwhile, Eugene Sonn admitted he’s received his fair share of pitches and thought, “Have they ever even listened to our program?” Don’t be that
- Sometimes your pitch ends up being the best backup plan, and that’s okay. Iris Delgado noted that stories can fall through all the time, but the show must go on, regardless. Make yourself an available resource, and take advantage of those opportunities that present themselves.
- Think about how your story can live on social media. Each panelist agreed that social media has changed the way they do their jobs. Paul Kurtz recalled using Facebook Live to stream protests at the Democratic National Convention in July. So, if you have a story that will do well on Facebook, or an expert with a sizeble Twitter following, that’s a huge plus.
Overall, the event was full of worthwhile insights and tips that we’ll definitely be applying to our future pitches. Big thanks to everyone who attended – especially our media panelists. We can’t wait for the next #PPRAProgram!
Kate Kanaby is an assistant account executive at Brownstone Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org