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How different is on-line media?

Posted by putsimply on 2nd July 2008

I was at a breakfast briefing at the Press Association today where Max Cooter – ed. in chief at Techworld, Guy Clapperton freelance IT journalist and Michael Kavanagh asst. news ed. on UK companies desk of FT were on the platform discussing how best to target online media. These are experienced hacks about my age, and the points they made were reassuringly familiar.

I’m pleased to share the edited highlights here as it illustrates, to me anyway at least, that no matter how fast media evolves the basics in this business do not change.

Target the right journalist,
make the story obvious,
read what they’ve written before,
don’t use big attachments,
sell-ins are good to highlight the real story when the releases structure is maybe not (ahem) ideal,
make them feel special (demonstrate you know what they write about),
offer exclusives from time to time.

Talk to them – on-line journalists are people too, but co-ordinate all approaches to make sure only one person (from the agency or client) targets any journalist.

The one thing that does impact the on-line is we should consider it more like broadcast for new story timing – get stories to them quickly, and if there’s a spokesperson make sure they are available there-and-then if needed. No point in making an effort pitching for on-line news if the key spokesperson isn’t available for another 6 hours.

All good common sense I reckon.