Category Archives: Media Relations

Is Your Pitch Ready for Prime Time? 6 Tips to Secure National Media Coverage

NBC Nightly News with Lester HoltSecuring national media coverage for your client, especially when you’re based in the middle of the country like those of us in Colorado is no easy feat.

It’s no secret there are fewer media outlets and reporters, but there are an endless number of blogs and digital communication opportunities as well. Standing out from the hundreds, if not thousands of pitches that national media receive every day is a big challenge, but not impossible. Following are some lessons GroundFloor Media has learned over the years that can help with your next national pitch.

 

1. Find national media contacts in your market.

It’s easier to pitch someone who is based in your city who may already be familiar with your company or organization. National media outlets have “stringers” based in cities around the country. New York-based media will often tap local freelancers who may have previously worked for them. If you can locate the national stringer or freelancer, pitch them your story and they can push it up to their national media outlet.

Read more after the jump…

Denver Media Shares the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.23.02 AMIt makes little difference if you’ve been working with Denver media for a long time or are new to the market because there are so many new faces and veteran journalists leaving the media (many taking communications roles) that no one can keep up.

The Colorado Healthcare Communicators recently held its annual media roundtable, in which the following reporters/editors participated and shared their thoughts on the current state of the market, how best to work with them, and their biggest pet peeves.

Note: Since the media roundtable took place, there have been two changes to the list below. Ed Sealover is no longer covering health care for the Denver Business Journal, and John Ingold has just left The Denver Post. As you may have read, a number of veteran Denver Post reporters have started The Colorado Sun with a Kickstarter campaign. More to come on that.

Read more after the jump…

Denver Post, Chicago Sun-Times Issue Mayday for Journalism

Gil Rudawky at the Rocky Mountain News news desk on the final day of publication


Gil Rudawsky, a city editor at the Rocky Mountain News, is at the news desk on the final day of publication for the paper nearly 10 years ago. In this blog, he revisits the future of journalism.

Leading up to the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2009, the mantra among corporate executives engaged in cost cutting was for journalists to “Work harder, not smarter” or “Do more with less.” But by that time, with a newsroom basically cut in half, the reality was “Doing less with less, and charging customers more.”

Nearly 10 years later, the continued death by a thousand cuts across the journalism world have continued, and we are at a tipping point. On Monday, The Chicago Sun-Times left its front page blank in a plea for subscribers in an effort to “protect the long-term survival” of its newsroom.

The Denver Post made a similar plea earlier this month, after one-third of its staff were laid off, demanding that its owners sell the newspaper. Hard-working Daily Camera reporter Alex Burness tweeted this week: “The stories being told now about the Post could be told about all of these newsrooms, just on different scales. National media reporters would do well to check out what’s happened in Boulder, Canon City, Longmont, Loveland, Sterling, Julesburg, Lamar, Broomfield, Brush.”

What’s Next for Journalism?

There’s the non-profit model, or the pay-wall model for digital news or the billionaire-backed model, or any combination of all three. As the shakedown continues, people are more and more realizing what the world looks like without the print media. There are city council meetings that aren’t being covered, feature stories that define the fabric of communities that aren’t being shared and checks and balances on our democratic way of life that aren’t being made.

As we grapple with this change, I have become keenly aware that in most instances news coverage originates from the print media. And the news is a commodity and just like anything else of value, you have to pay for it. The biggest question now is whether our news-obsessed culture will realize this as well.

What Communicators Can Learn from Teen Activists

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 8.35.20 AMLike other Americans, I watched in horror as yet another school shooting took place, this time in Florida. If there is any good that comes out of this, it has been watching enraged teens share their voices in every possible way. I found this PR Week article: Politicians worst nightmare: Tone, Social Savvy make Parkland students authentic advocates, particularly interesting.

According to the article, what’s working is that students are not being careful and cautious and are not overly messaged. They’re being direct, outspoken and passionate. And they don’t have anything to lose, and everything to gain.

While many are speaking out about what happened, it’s the teenagers who could have the greatest impact on effecting real change. Theirs is the first generation that grew up with the internet and social media. To them, social media is allowing them to speak directly to elected officials, and rally people across the country on platforms to directly share their message.

Read more after the jump…

What You Need to Know About AP Style for 2018

As a follow-up to an earlier blog post on the importance of communicators’ adhering to AP Style, each year, in order to stay relevant, editors meet and make updates to the style book. Then we all need to learn the new rules. This year was no exception, and the following is a list of the more noteworthy AP Style changes in 2017.

  • Singular “they” – AP Style now allows the use of “they” as a singular pronoun when rewriting the sentence would be awkward.
  • “He” is no longer acceptable for gender-neutral.
  • Cyberattack – The word refers to a computer operation carried out over a device or network that causes physical damage or significant and widespread disruption.

Read more after the jump…

Everything You Need to Know About Media Interviews You Can Learn on “60 Minutes”

Everything You Need to Know About Media Interviews You Can Learn on “60 Minutes” | GroundFloor Media PR AgencyI recently caught an episode of “60 Minutes”  during which they shared the tricks of the trade by some of the most revered journalists ever, most of them now passed. As you may know, “60 Minutes” has been celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which makes it the longest running broadcast program ever.

When the show first aired in 1967, the formula for a “60 Minutes” segment was simple: keep it timely, keep it relevant and never be dull. That same formula is as relevant today, and should be used by marketing communications professionals in developing stories and pitches for the media. It doesn’t matter if your story idea is for print, TV, radio or online – your media pitch needs to include all of those elements, and it needs to be visual, as even a good radio story can be shared online.

In the segment, they shared their rules for conducting a “60 Minutes” interview, and these are recommendations for how to prepare for them:

Read more after the jump…

What Communicators Can Learn from the White House Press Secretary

What Communicators Can Learn from the White House Press Secretary | GroundFloor Media PR AgencyAs communicators, it’s hard not to have an admiration for one of the toughest PR jobs on earth: The White House Press Secretary. Watching the current White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, bob and weave on a daily basis, got me thinking about this challenging role and one of the most famous press secretaries, C.J. Cregg of the West Wing (I know it was a TV show, but who didn’t love watching her in action?).

It has to be one of the toughest, most stressful communications jobs as every day is a crisis of some sort. According to the International Business Times, the average White House spokesperson stays in the job for two and a half years. President Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, made infamous on Saturday Night Live, lasted just 182 days.

Read more after the jump…

What Words and Phrases Can We Eliminate From Our Writing?

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.57.36 AMHow can Twitter’s 140 character missives, and pithy Snapchat highlights get translated into our everyday writing as communicators?

Every time I reach for my AP Style Book, I am reminded of a college journalism professor who left her mark on me for a couple of reasons: First, we had weekly quizzes on the AP Style Book, which was a great way to learn and practice the rules. And if you weren’t sure there was a rule, at least we all learned to use the book to see if a rule existed.

Second, she was a stickler for writing in the simplest terms, using concise, action words and cutting out fat from our writing. Following is a list of words or phrases that should be eliminated from our writing, along with a suitable replacement word. Just like Bitly and Tiny URL help us shorten URLs for social media, this list can help tighten all of our writing. What are some of your favorite words or phrases that can be omitted and replaced with a single word?

Instead of: Use:
In order to To
Utilize Use
Very ugly, very fat, very angry Hideous, obese, furious
In the event that If
On account of the fact that

Because of the fact that

Due to the fact that

Because
In spite of the fact that Although, though, despite
In the absence of Without
In the event that If
A large proportion of Many
In a situation in which When
There is a need for Must
Subsequent to After
Impact on Affect
Along the lines of Like
At the present time Now, currently

 

 

Local Media More Trusted than National Media

When it comes to media, who do you trust? If you are like most people, you trust local media more than national media. Local media are perceived to be less biased than national media, and to have less of an agenda.

And the proof is in the ratings. A recent Poynter Institute analysis finds that Americans overwhelmingly view local TV news rather than their cable TV counterparts. Media writer James Warren used Chicago as a benchmark and found:

“The power and potency of local news endures, perhaps all the more so in a fragmented digital age. It’s a reality generally missed by media reporters.”

Local Media More Trusted than National Media - Nielsen Media Research | GroundFloor Media PR Agency

The general public’s reaction to media is analogous to how they perceive politicians. We all hate “Congress,” but we choose to continue to re-elect our own congressional representatives because we believe that our local representatives are somehow different. And that is the power of local.

One Journalist to Another: The Game Has Changed

Adele Arakawa, 9News Evening AnchorThis week marks the end of an era for one of Denver’s most beloved journalists as 9NEWS’ Adele Arakawa officially signs off on June 30. She’s been the evening news anchor for 24 years.

I couldn’t help but feel a little wistful after reading Joanne Ostrow’s article on Arakawa as it seemed clear to me from the article that she is not just ready to retire, but she may be disillusioned with the state of journalism today. If you haven’t read the article, it’s worth a read and you can draw your own conclusions.

It seemed only fitting that Ostrow wrote the piece on Arakawa, as Ostrow had bid farewell in a column less than a year ago to her job at The Denver Post. Ostrow shared her thoughts on a long and productive career reporting about the media for newspapers and magazines, and all the changes she too had seen in the news and entertainment industry.

Read more after the jump…