Supplement Perspectives

The Editor Said Yes: What's Next?

Your job isn't finished once you have an editor's attention. Pete Croatto explains what you have to do.

You sent the release or the targeted pitch to a magazine or newspaper editor. And he or she has agreed to write about your product, event, new microwave for the break room. Congratulations! Getting the attention of any editor is a big accomplishment, but your job is not done. There are still a few things you need to do to master the media.

1.) Be available. This has been mentioned previously, but if a reporter calls you to schedule a time--be available after you've booked it. Only reschedule unless there's no other alternative. If you have to, offer apologies and another time to talk.

2.) Don't be alarmed if your news doesn't get covered right away. The reporter might be chasing another, more urgent story. The story might run in the future. That's why it's always important to ask when a story will run and keep your eye out for it.  

3.) Know what the reporter does. Most reporters don't write headlines or schedule stories. That's handled by his or her editor. Badgering a reporter with details like that, or requests like free issues, is only going to leave a bad taste in their mouth. Ask questions politely and don't make demands.  

4.) Ask a reporter if you can put them on your email list. This is a big complaint of writers that I follow on Twitter and Facebook. No reporter wants to sift through useless, unsolicited emails when they're on deadline. Ask if it's OK first. Oh, and don't give out those email addresses to colleagues, association members, etc.

5.) Publication does not signify a relationship. So the story comes out. Everything looks great. That does not mean that the reporter or her editor is going to consider every single email from you to be a dynamite story. Far from it. You have to keep convincing these people that your news is important. In fact, it might be considerably harder because your company isn't "new" anymore. Mastering the media requires persistence. So keep at it. Look for new angles and story possibilities that will entice the pub's readership.  

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