Posts Tagged ‘@CMM_PR’

Poll Results: Should PR Interns Pitch the Media?

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Flickr Image: lakelandlocal

Last week I wrote a post summarizing some recent posts on the topic of PR interns pitching the media, adding my own two cents along the way. I tweeted the link to my post and it sparked a lot of conversation.

 @CMM_PR suggested that an informal web-poll could be an interesting measurement for this question.  I set-up a very basic poll with yes/no answers based on whether you’re a PR pro, student or educator on PollDaddy and tweeted the link.  @prcindy suggested that I add a yes/no for members of the media, which I did immediately. 

Forty-six people registered their opinion in the poll and the breakdown is as follows:

  • 18 Out of 24 PR pros say, “Yes, PR interns should be allowed to pitch the media.” Six say “no.”
  • Of the 18 PR students that replied, 16 said, “yes.” Two said “No, they shouldn’t be allowed to pitch the media.”
  • Only Two PR educators voted, both of whom said “yes.”
  • Two members of the media split their vote with one having indicated “yes” and one “no.”

 Obviously, this isn’t a scientific study but it does show most agree that PR interns should be educated, prepared, coached and allowed to pitch.

Some follow-up comments/quotes:

I asked Heather Huhman, journalist/career expert to students and young professionals and founder of Come Recommended, for her thoughts on the subject. She replied, “If interns aren’t going to pitch the media during their internship, then what skills are they leaving with, exactly? They can learn the principles of pitching in the classroom. I completely agree with Abby Gutowski—it’s up to the supervisor to manage the situation properly.”

My BurrellesLuce colleague Valerie Simon, and #PRStudChat host, offered “An internship is an excellent opportunity to get some firsthand experience in the pitching process. Interns can gain valuable experience doing the necessary research, writing the draft of a pitch, and assisting with the necessary follow-up.”

And, finally, Chris Sleight, editor at KHL Group Publishing in the UK, replied on the poll page with, “Yes, as long as they’re trained and well-briefed. This includes knowing the client’s business well enough to be able to answer simple follow-up questions on the spot. Amazing how many agencies throw their students/interns to the lions without any of the tools they need to do the job. Not only is it unfair on the individual, it means the pitch fails and the agency comes across as a bunch of unprofessional idiots. So short-sighted!”

Twitter #journchat: Insight on Pitching and Analysis

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Valerie Simon

PitchingI am new to Twitter and on Monday I participated in my first ever #journchat. An interesting mix of journalists and PR professionals provided a lively conversation that spanned a variety of subjects. The two topics I found most compelling related to pitching and analysis. Can Twitter be used to pitch journalists? And regardless of the method, is it possible to successfully pitch in 140 characters? As @CMM_PR pointed out, “The blogosphere is humming with blogs about how PR Flacks are trying to perfect the 140 character pitch. Is it worth the effort?”

 @arikhanson seems to think so, “From PR perspective, 140 characters forces us to refine our pitch. Get to the nugget. To the point faster.” In today’s fast-paced environment, brevity is essential. Case in point: @DeRushaJ, a journalist, told the group, “I have to pitch to my newsroom bosses and catch their attention in about 140 char. PR people should pitch me in 80.”

Understanding measurement was also a hot topic of conversation. For the PR folks on the chat, it was apparent that analysis is more important than ever. @bosilytics raised the question, “How difficult do PR folks find it to find the analysis they need. not #’s but insightful data” While @kanter noted that “the most important part of analytics is not the numbers, but how you harvest insight” But how do you define insight?

At BurrellesLuce, our clients have told us that they need a clear picture of their relevant coverage. This includes both customized quantitative and qualitative data, as well as expert analysis of the nature and reach of their coverage. They need measurement metrics, content evaluation, executive reporting and competitive studies. And of course, with time and money tighter than ever before, it is essential that the reports come ready to present to the board, client or prospect.

If you are curious to learn more about smart measurement, I’d like to invite you to join my colleague Johna Burke, VP, BurrellesLuce,  who is teaching a free PRSA webinar: How Smart Measurement Can Help You Survive the Media Revolution

For those of you on Twitter, I’d recommend that you stop in the next #journchat (every Monday evening at 8pm eastern). It’s a nice opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with a diverse group of PR professionals and journalists. And if you have any other suggestions of similar groups for this Twitter newbie, I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment or send me a tweet @ValerieSimon.