How to Get the Associated Press to Cover Your Story, Book, or Client
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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