Publicity Club of Chicago has had some amazing speakers this year, but my favorite so far was the panel on July 10th featuring reporters and editors from WBEZ and WTTW. These local stations have made a name for themselves as two of the nation’s leading public media outlets. The panel consisted of the following speakers:
•Aurora Aguilar, News Director and Project Editor, WBEZ •Eddie Arruza, Correspondent and Segment Host, WTTW Chicago Tonight •Beni Enas, Line Producer, WTTW Chicago Tonight •Michael Puente, Reporter, WBEZ Moderator: Natasha Korecki, Political Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times
The panel was both lively and very informative. They spoke on a variety of topics including the changing landscape of public media and what kinds of ideas and media pitches are sure to catch their eye. My top five take away points from this PCC lunch are:
•Good Pitches are focused, well written and the same tone as expected content. Tailor your pitch to the specific outlet and contact
•Radio pitches need to set the scene with words. In general, public media stories have more depth than commercial media stories, so when pitching make sure you have enough content.
•Reporters and editors are more likely to respond to emails instead of phone calls. Emails must be focused and tailored. Don’t contact more than two times after a pitch to see if the outlet has received or read it.
•Use the word exclusive sparingly. Members of the panel all agreed that they are skeptical of the word exclusive.
•Be aware of current events going on during media drops. If there is national crises do not drop off product and expect coverage – it makes you and your agency look unprofessional.
Using these tips and tricks will help me craft better pitches for these stations. I look forward to using these tools and getting some coverage for our clients. Can’t wait to see what the next PCC lunch has in store!
Alexis Lucente Assistant Publicist