I just had lunch with an editor at one of the large newspapers in town who opined on the surprising number of PR people who don’t know how to deal with the media. A few suggestions from someone on the inside…
1: Forget the News Releases. If you really want to be successful at placing stories, make a contact and develop a relationship with someone at the newspaper. When you have a meaningful story idea, make a call and pitch it.
2: Learn the Rules. If you must write a news release at least do it correctly. No two-page news releases. My source says she has NEVER seen a news release that has any meaningful information on the second page.
3: Ask Questions. The most successful PR people listen. Ask reporters and editors what types of stories they are interested in, how to best contact them, do they have any upcoming special sections, what are their deadlines, etc.