Media Comparison Overview

Why you need both a directory and a database —
There is a process veteran public relations professionals use to maximize the coverage they receive from the news media. There are important uses for both books and databases. That’s why Barnes & Noble and MicroSoft are both making lots of money. With FINDERBINDER, we suggest both some easy reading and some simple database management — and we provide you with the tools for both.

We suggest you start by thumbing through your directory, perhaps with a pad of Post-Its nearby. Mark the publications and stations which you believe are ideal recepients of your present message.  Make a note about how your current selection might apply to future distributions so you can use the list you are preparing.Next, go into your database and make a copy of it. You may find it fastest to create your e-mailing list by subtraction – discard the listings that do not serve you for this distribution.

Are you using a shotgun or a rifle to get the attention of the news media in your area?
Journalists prefer to be shot at with a rifle, if you will permit us to stretch the analogy to the point of obsurdity. By that we mean a reporter or editor wants to feel that you have given careful consideration to their publication or station.  So don’t ‘spray and pray.’More is not better, so be cautious in how widely you spray information.  Journalists like to feel special, just like the rest of us. While they don’t expect an exclusive story every time, they don’t like feeling they are on a long list of media either. Do you think about precisely who should receive your news releases each time you send one?

Using both the directory and the database, many of our subscribers prepare various sets of sort lists of news media. Since the price for both tools is still quite reasonable, so you can expect to pay for your FINDERBINDER® with the first one or two release distributions.

Do you select specific news media for exclusive features?
One of the best way to get big, boss-pleasing articles is to offer an exclusive to a single publication. Thumbing through the FINDERBINDER® directory allows you to zero in on the right publication for the right one-of-a-kind story.  Selecting a few candidate publications from your directory, then looking through your file copies of each magazine or newspaper helps you with the right choices.

How to build a bad reputation with the news media
Allow us to be blunt here: If you are sending out your news releases to every possible news medium in your marketplace you may be destroying your organization’s reputation. Media people have a memory. So every time you send a news release out to a publication for which it is completely inappropriate, someone makes a note that you don’t know what you are doing. And the next time a release comes to them, it will get trashed. The editorial office people know who has been naughty and who has been journalistically nice. We urge you to take pride in keeping up with the needs of journalists. There is an old marketing expression: “Sell the way they buy.” The same idea applies to public relations work. Know how a reporter wants to receive press materials from you.

Keep looking at how journalists use information from public relations practitioners. This applies to e-mail, regular U.S. mail or hand-carried information. Today most releases go out as e-mail attachments. The distribution cost is close to zero, so the temptation to blast out material to even the most unlikely medium is strong.  Be careful here — your good name is on the line with every mailing.There will always be irresponsible PR types in every market who are happy to just shotgun out their releases to 100 or more e-mail addresses.  And once they acquire these e-mail addresses they may feel little need to pay for updating them.  While they may get lucky from time to time, they degrade the public relations field in the process. They chip away at your reputation, bit by bit.

Don’t just take our word for it — here’s what an editor has to say:

To: Jane McConnell  Washington State Media Directory

Jane,

I'm glad you ask for ergularly updates on our P-I staff listings to make sure reporters and editors are correctly identified by title, phone and e-mails.  A correct listing makes it easier for people to contact us directly and not have to start with our general information receptionist. Plus, it prevents the public from being transferred around the newsroom to find the right person.

Janet Grimley
Assistant managing editor Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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