As PR professionals, we all know the importance of building meaningful relationships with members of the media – reporters, producers, assignment editors, etc. But how does that happen, and where do you start?
In this new section of the PPRA blog, PPRA members will share insight, tips and tricks, and fun facts learned from members of the media through informal interviews. You won’t have to wait for our “Media Mingle” or “Editors Panel” to get your tough questions answered and connect with the media. Our goal with this blog section is to continue engagement with our media counterparts in an informative and fun manner. So, between you and me – enjoy!
Having the energy and drive to be up and working before the sun rises takes a certain type of person, and Kelsey Fabian has proven through multiple jobs that she has what it takes. Fabian just celebrated her one-year mark working as a morning reporter for PHL17; the job that’s brought her back to her home state after years away in various parts of the country. The Lancaster County native spoke with University of the Sciences communications manager, Colby Gallagher, about what makes a morning show special and what she looks for when preparing for live shots. Photo courtesy of PHL17.
How many years have you been in the industry and where have you worked?
I’ve been in the industry for about 8 years, a little more than six of them have been on air. I started at NBC10 in Philadelphia working for the web team. From there I pursued a career on-air which took me to Alpena, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Greensboro, North Carolina, and finally back to Philadelphia.
How did you get started as a journalist and why?
I grew up with parents who were avid news watchers and at a young age I took interest in being “the lady on TV.” I took public speaking classes all through high school and wrote for the school paper and enjoyed both so broadcast journalism seemed like the right fit.
What advice would you give to public relations professionals when making a pitch to you?
I work on a live morning show so we do a lot of live feature segments. We have one reporter designated to that every morning. The pitches that makes us want to book your feature are the ones that are visual and interactive. If it’s a cooking segment. let the reporter cook alongside the chef, if it’s previewing an art festival let us make art with a local artist. If we are talking about a kid event, bring kids! If you can’t make it super interactive give us multiple people to talk to interview, it helps to move the segment along.
Journalists get hundreds of emails and pitches. Between you and me, what makes one stand out? Is it the subject line? Do you have to know the sender before opening it?
I would say the subject line and the first two sentences are key. If you don’t grab my attention quickly, then I will assume it isn’t going to grab the viewer’s.
Many PR professionals come from news, but it’s rapidly changing. What’s one thing you wish PR pros did more of?
Send an info sheet once the interview is setup. If we are doing three live hits with you that morning, send me an info sheet that includes what we are showing/doing each hit and the name/names and titles of the people I will be interviewing for every hit.
Also include a small summary of the most important information like time, date, event details, etc. I love when PR people do this; I print it out the morning of and take it with me, it helps me stay organized and is almost like a cheat sheet.
Also, please don’t give me a list of questions you want me to ask and don’t ask me for a list of questions that I am going to ask! I will gladly give you an idea of what I want to talk about and some specifics I want to cover, but I do not pre-write questions for a live segment.
Is there are particular topic or story you prefer over the others? Why?
Not really unless it’s animals, animal stories always win me over. I love variety though, so I like covering almost anything.
What’s a fun and/or interesting fact about yourself that most don’t know?
I am terrified of karaoke. Haha. People assume that just because you are on tv you aren’t shy about anything, but that’s not true.
Best way to pitch Kelsey for PHL17: firstname.lastname@example.org