You won't accomplish much if you call the gas company to ask about your cable bill. Make sure that when you call about your story that the reporter you are contacting is the right person.
Don’t call a business reporter who covers the pharmaceutical industry with ten tips on getting kids to take their medicine. Find the writer who handles parenting or consumer medical stories for that.
There is one exception to the previous tip: if you personally know a reporter, or you have a mutual friend, it’s fine to call that person even if you know they aren't the right reporter. Just don’t expect them to do your story. Ask instead, “Which of your colleagues might be interested in a story on my kiddie-medicine tips for parents?”
Most sales handbooks tell you to try to make your pitch to the decision-maker. The decision maker in the media game is the editor—but resist the temptation to call them.
What works better is to try one, two, or more reporters until one gets interested. When they sell the story to the editor, it has far more power. Besides, if one reporter turns you down, you call the next. If the editor vetoes it, where do you turn?
Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit http://www.MediaImpact.biz or call 212-243-8383.