Denver PR Blog

25 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a PR Firm
September 30, 2009, 7:14 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Media Orchard compiles the list.

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“There is one PR person I’ve worked with who really does ‘get it,'” says Pam O’Brien, executive editor at Fitness magazine. “She looks at the magazine, so she has a good idea what works for us. She pitches ideas that are relevant. For example, I’ve explained to her that every health story that runs needs to have a fitness or healthy eating angle and she incorporates that into her story ideas.”

The takeaway: “Instead of simply pitching a story, on migraines, for example, she’ll link it to new information showing that exercise can help a migraine,” explains O’Brien. “That kind of smart thinking and attention to detail means I always look at her pitches right away when she sends them.”

Her additional tips for landing coverage in magazines:

• Link to a new study to buff up your pitch. “Linking a pitch to a new study is always an attention-grabber,” she says. “I’m not talking about a study of 10 people, but solid research that makes the pitch timely or newsy.”

• Pitch a topic that hasn’t been covered. “It’s all about crafting a pitch that makes me say, ‘Yes, this topic is a good one for my magazine,'” O’Brien says. “Also, by pitching a topic we haven’t recently covered, PR can show familiarity with a magazine, as well. Oftentimes, I am pitched stories on subjects we just covered a month or two ago.”

• Show that you understand a magazine’s audience. “Check out the masthead to make sure pitches go to the right person—and make it clear you have a general understanding of the kinds of stories a magazine covers,” she says. “For example, PR people can send me stories with a fitness angle for women, showing me that they know what the magazine is about and who the reader is—a woman who exercises, but isn’t a hardcore endurance, muscle or fitness type of athlete.”

She offers this quick example of a possible pitch: “If you’re pitching something related to endometriosis, you might say that the story is perfect for Fitness because women who exercise regularly are more likely to find relief from the disease—studies show that workouts reduce the pain associated with it

Comment by Carol Piaseczny

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