In the what-not-to-do column:
- The New York Times tech reporter David Pogue often shares his unvarnished views of "PR people" (just search that term on his blog or article archive). Here's "A Downside of Being a Tech Reporter" as one pithy example of What Not to Do.
- Follow-up calls (as in, "Did you get the email?) are on this list, according to a panel of reporters I moderated.
- The Bad Pitch Blog, while written by public relations folks, must be the guilty pleasure reading for many frustrated reporters. Read it if only to keep yourself from being featured someday.
- Embargoes are amply covered by Ivan Oransky's Embargo Watch blog. And while Ivan's generous in noting organizations that do a good job managing embargoes, always tricky, there are enough kids-don't-try-this-at-home cautionary tales that I think it belongs in this column. (The latest: the retro-bargo, in which news is released after the time on the embargo. Huh?)
- Many media outlets (but not enough) publish their reporters' preferences. The New York Times has this extensive, but hard-to-find list of chats with reporters, editors and others.
- Follow them on Twitter (or any other site). Here, the New York Times shares its Twitter list of reporters.
- TechCrunch shares How to Get Our Attention: A Case Study with an example of a real, successful pitch.
- Looking to pitch multimedia? Many news organizations are sharing early views of what they're working on with new features, such as the New York Times First Look blog.
- USA TODAY editors share suggestions for how to pitch an op-ed to the paper, via video of a panel at a PRSA higher education conference. And here's one session I moderated in which Washington reporters described why you must rewrite your email to fit on a BlackBerry.
- Keep an eye on the future with sites like NiemanLab, which focuses on where news is headed in an online universe. The more you're keeping up with news innovation, the better your pitch can be.
- Associated Press planning editors share how to pitch a news story in this video:
- Use the tools created for reporters. YouTube has a reporters' center, in which you can find scores of tutorials that offer insights from major media outlets, including useful how-tos like this Pulitzer Center video on how to tell an "untold" story:
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