On March 23, PRSA-LA hosted the webinar, “At Breakfast with Arts and Consumer Entertainment Journalists”, drawing the attention of almost 60 attendees. The audience learned from journalists and editors about how PR practitioners can pitch stories and maintain relationships with their media colleagues. Knowledge was provided by leading professionals in the industry including Tricia Durrant, supervising producer, Entertainment Tonight, ETonline.com, Craig Nakano, assistant managing editor, Entertainment & Arts, Los Angeles Times, Pamela Avila, entertainment editor, USA Today and Paula Ulichney, photo editor, Associated Press. Here are the top tips the panelists shared:
The future is digital – Tricia Durrant, Entertainment Tonight
Think of your story being published online as well as any other medium you believe can be suitable for your client. However, consider the news cycle and metrics certain stories are gaining and see if your pitch could be part of current trends.
Pitch transparently – Craig Nakano, LA Times
Nakano explained that PR professionals should pitch directly to the reporter they think is most suitable for the story or to a group of journalists to see if any one of them would like to cover the subject. Pitching multiple journalists individually isn’t feasible as there is discussion in the newsroom about who’s being pitched what.
Not all pitches have to be about A-list celebrities – Pamela Avila, USA Today
Avila shared that she is interested in receiving pitches about celebrities who might not be as well-known, but it will need to convey the importance of their story and how it will impact entertainment.
Avoid using handout photos – Paula Ulichney, Associated Press
There is difficulty in finding a copyright for handout photos, therefore legal issues can ensue.
Most importantly, the panelists emphasized that pitches need to concisely show why their audiences should care about these stories. As they are receiving hundreds of emails per day, presenting them with a brief pitch with game-changing facts can make your client stand out.
This session was PRSA-LA’s first “At Breakfast With” webinar of the year. Stay tuned for more hosted by PRSA-LA board member, Maricela Cueva.
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