10 Questions Never to Ask a Reporter
When you prepare to contact a reporter, it is essential to conduct some research first. Media members receive hundreds of calls and e-mails each week, and you want to make a good, first-impression without being annoying.
To stand out and get your story heard, here is a simple reminder of ten questions you should never ask a reporter:
1. My client just created a new product, will you write about it next week?
2. What are your columns about?
3. How do you spell your name?
4. Will you write a feature story about our small businesses?
5. We are having a press event tonight, can you come?
6. Did you get my fax?
7. Are you going to write about the press release I just faxed to you?
8. Our CEO is available to speak to you now. Do you have 30 minutes to hear his story?
9. Can I proof your story before it goes to print for errors?
10. The local paper and CNN just did a major story about my client. Would you like to do the same story too?
These are just a few of the many annoying, time-wasting questions reporters receive every day. What others do you have to add to this list?
Instead of asking dumb questions, please do your homework first. Research the appropriate media venues and review archived and current articles, television programs, radio shows, etc. Discover appropriate beats, deadlines and as much information as possible before you pick up the phone.
You’ll save time and increase your chances of getting some good publicity. But most importantly, you’ll start to build a reputation as a valuable resource for future stories.
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