How to burn a reporter and a bridge

53411097 If you have a story to pitch to the media, choose the reporter or media outlet that is best suited for the story. But don’t pitch the same story to competing media or more than reporter at the same media outlet.

Even if you score the story in two places…it will cost you in credibility. And the next time you pick up the phone with a hot lead – the reporter you burned will never bother returning your call.

If you have a story or event that you think is worthy of everyone’s attention – then at least give each station or paper a different angle to cover, so that they all get to report a fresh story.  

Just like any relationship – a relationship with a reporter will quickly sour if you lie or make them look stupid. Remember, the more you help them do their job, the more they can help you do yours.

P.S.  You can substitute the word blogger for reporter and voila, a bit of your blogger outreach program!

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6 comments on “How to burn a reporter and a bridge

  1. This gets lost a lot today. Especially with people trying to gain as much coverage as possible within the blogosphere. It’s also extremely accurate, if you can’t offer a new perspective for the blogger or just go to another outlet with the same information…you’re hurting both of you and likely souring your relationship.

  2. Excellent advice. If you are in marketing or related businesses (and pitch press releases or blog stories) you don’t want to burn any bridges or contacts along the way. I like the idea if you using multiple sources to put the word out, give them different angles to cover. I like this for a couple reasons. One of which you keep everyone happy, no bridge burning. Also though, it gives the story dimension, it gives the story from multiple view points which will reach a larger audience. After all, larger audience is what we are all looking for.

  3. Jenifer says:

    Thats a awesome piece of advice. Reporters are to be treated well. And they helpful. Thanks for sharing this nice thoughts with us.

  4. Stuart,

    Amen! I know that I certainly notice the difference between someone who is pitching me and 3,000 of his/her closest friends or someone who has actually taken the time to read my blog.

    I used to feel a little weird, like I was being presumptuous by being frustrated by that. But then I realized…they’re asking me to read/look at their stuff. Isn’t it fair that they do their homework first?


  5. PC,

    Exactly…when you do it well, everyone wins. Hard to argue the ROI on that.


  6. This is such great advice. It’s better to be patient and build relationships with media contacts.

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