With over 2,000 journalists in 300 locations worldwide, the Associated Press is picked up by over 1,000 U.S. daily newspapers and thousands of television and radio broadcasts. I attended a recent Inside the Media event by the Public Relations Society of New York to learn how AP gathers the news and how to secure coverage by three Associated Press journalists .
Amanda Y. Barrett, New York City News editor at AP
John Simons, technology and media editor at AP
Since John Simons manages reporters covering technology trends, gadgets, and technology companies, he recommends you understand the issues of the day before pitching him. For example, if there was a breaking news story about a company that had been hacked and you knew of a business that recently had been hacked after spending lots of money and putting in a new secure system, John would look forward to hearing from you. If you or your client cannot tell him something on the record, don’t say it. There have been situations where a media outlet makes a deal that in order to get an interview with a top CEO or celebrity, the PR/Communications department is allowed to review the interview/article before it goes to print/on air but that is not the policy of Associated Press. John receives over five hundred emails daily so you will get his attention if the body of the email is the length of a tweet (one hundred forty characters).
You can email John Simons: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Associated Press travel editor Beth Harpaz covers lifestyle and entertainment and turns to Twitter and Facebook to see what trends people are talking about. For lead time it is best to get your story idea to Beth one month prior to the event and if your story idea is late she will save it and do next year if your story is interesting and worth covering. Are you, or do you know someone that may be an expert on certain holiday trends? Beth spoke on how there have been gingerbread displays in hotels lobbies and now she sees a trend of gingerbread houses ten feet tall in hotels so if you can get an expert on that trend that helps me do my job better. As with John, if you email Beth she suggests that if your pitch was a tweet what would it be?
You can email Beth Harpaz: email@example.com
At AP Amanda Barrett is responsible for all the New York City news editors covering police, courts, federal, and City Hall. Since AP is not a local news station Amanda advises you provide information that points to a trend as AP is a global news organization and if you understand and read our copy you will have an idea of the type of news stories AP covers. Amanda appreciates it when public relations people understand the mission of the Associated Press. One recent bad PR experience Amanda shared was when she had been dealing with Hurricane Sandy storm coverage and received a phone call from a woman boasting that she had the greatest story, but then launched into a political pitch even after Amanda told this person that it was not a good time to talk but the woman kept on with her pitch. If you are unable to secure coverage with Amanda you still have another option, The AP Daybook. To get into the AP daybook e-mail APNYC@AP.org and in the subject put date in the event, do not send attachments.
You can email Amanda Barrett firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow Amanda on Twitter: AmandaB1201.
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Back in May I wrote about Larry from Quaker Oats getting a makeover and now according to a Wall Street Journal article Wendy’s will be updating the logo for the first time in nearly 30 years. According to the article it is revealed that:
- The “Old Fashioned Hamburgers” slogan will be removed
- -There will be only “Wendy’s” in a handwritten font below Wendy
- Wendy will now be popping out of the circle
According to Wendy’s Restaurant Chief Marketing Officer Craig Bahner, “We didn’t want here to be contained. She is much more approachable.”
Rachel Ray, CBS This Morning Saturday, Piers Morgan Tonight, and ABC News. You have a book, movie, or guest that would be perfect for each of those shows. How do you go about getting them on? To find out I attended the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society “Meet the Media” panel that featured:
- Tommy Crudup, Senior Talent Executive, Rachael Ray
- Rebecca Jarvis, Co-Host, CBS This Morning: Saturday
- Haleigh Raff, Senior Editorial Producer, Piers Morgan Tonight
- Vanessa Weber, Consumer/Investigative Producer, ABC News
With 2.5 million viewers every day Rachel Ray provides a huge audience and Tommy Crudup is the man to pitch. Tommy prefers to receive pitches through email but please do not send two page emails with a followup call ten minutes after you hit send. Include any links you may have for previous television appearances even if it may only be local clips. A great way to be a resource to Tommy is to send him a client list to keep on file and refer to when needed. Tommy Crudup can be reached via email: email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @TommyTomTom22.
Even though CBS This Morning Saturday may be heavy on politics and politicians it is business people and entrepeneurs (someone with an interesting personality and story) that interests Rebecca Jarvis most with the ability to talk about trends. Rebecca prefers to receive pitches via Twitter as well as email but remember that Rebecca also has to pitch to the CBS This Morning Saturday producers as well to get the story covered. To help her (since she covers business) be sure to provide the size and total dollar amount of the market, the players, and a story line that would make viewers get excited about the story. Rebecca suggests to think how your person best fits into the story. Rebecca Jarvis can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @RebeccaJarvis.
Haleigh Raff books celebrities on Piers Morgan Tonight as well as newsmakers and authors. Haleigh advised it is best to know the show you are pitching (the type of guests that are on and the types of segments) it will make her job easier. What would be a bad pitch? A long pitch that ends with…”this would be great for Rachel Ray.” Haleigh also suggested to be clear and upfront if your potential guest is a paid spokesperson and how many mentions would be allowed/needed for the segment. She also felt it is best to build relationships by reaching out to someone by taking them out or meeting for coffee, or visiting their office to make a connection with the person. Be persistant but not annoying. You can email Haleigh Raff at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter: @Haleighraff.
As a producer for ABC News Vanessa Weber prefers to receive pitches via email and due to her demanding schedule has no time to return phone calls. When pitching or thinking of a guest/topic that may be ideal for ABC News Vanessa advises to think in the mindset of: Why would this make compelling television? As with Tommy Vanessa would like to see images/clips or links to clips so she has an idea how your person appears on television. Other tips include: Do your homework – are there similar stories? What human interest stories work? Help me do my job better and faster. You can email Vanessa: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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When I was a teen back in 1982 where did I turn to discover new music? College radio. Where do teens under eighteen turn to discover new music in 2012? According to the August 15 Wall Street Journal article, “Forget CDs. Teens Are Tuning In to YouTube,” well, as the headline states, YouTube.
According to a Neilsen survey of three thousand people revealed:
- Two-thirds of US teenagers under the age of eighteen use YouTube to listen to music more than any other medium and are less inclined than those eighteen and older to listen to cds or the radio.
- Among adults (eighteen and older) most popular ways to listen to music were radio, cds, and YouTube.
Interesting fact: Nine percent of adults said they listen to cassettes.
You can read the article here.