I had the opportunity to sit in on an editorial meeting at CBS4 last week. (Many thanks again to Tim Wieland and his team for allowing me to do that!) I’ve worked in PR for a long time, and I know the “rules” for working with broadcast media. However, I’d never had the chance to observe an editorial meeting in “real life,” and I gained a lot from the experience. The following are five reminders/insights I took away from the meeting:
- If you’re trying to reach a member of the broadcast media while they’re looking at email on their phones/iPads, 9:00-9:30 a.m. is a great time to do so. Everyone was actively using their devices to look for story ideas.
- On a related note, Twitter is a great platform to use to get a reporter’s attention. Multiple team members were intently scrolling through their Twitter feeds in search of interesting news topics during the meeting.
- While pitching the newsdesk is fine, having an individual (be it a reporter, executive producer or news director) to champion your story really does matter. If you find that champion, the chances of your story being considered for coverage are much higher.
- Reporters are always on the lookout for experts to comment on stories they’re working on. And they generally need to find them on short notice and under deadline. Make sure they know about your clients and their areas of expertise – so that their names are top of mind when the need arises. This is where informal coffee meetings and deskside visits can really pay off.
- If you want a camera crew to come to an event you’re planning, schedule it between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is when stations have the most resources available in terms of cameras and before everyone is slammed under deadlines for the evening newscasts.
While most of us know these tips in our heads, seeing them play out in an editorial meeting gave me a better understanding of the “why” behind them. I hope to serve as a better resource to the media as a result.