In 2017 Annual Conference

Blogger: Katarina Dos Santos, Orlando Area Chapter

Today’s newsroom landscape is:

  • Fast-paced
  • Non-stop
  • One-man bands (reporter with their own camera, asked to do a lot more with less)
  • Multiple mediums

Today’s reporter must:

  • Deliver daily story pitches
  • Present for multiple mediums – social, TV, video
  • Write their own newsroom articles
  • Drive to scene
  • Shoot, write and edit the story

Therefore, your pitch/story should fit into one (or more) of these criteria:

  • Conflict
  • Money-related
  • Timely
  • Location-related/localized
  • Celebrities
  • Unusual
  • Goodwill

In order to pitch to the media you should cultivate personal relationships. Identify key contacts at the organization, such as producers and assignment editors, and connect with them in real life and via social media. Use timing to your advantage, e.g. AAA sends their press release at midnight to give producers fresh, new content first thing in the morning.

Is the news release dead?

No, according to AAA’s Senior Public Relations Program Coordinator Mark Jenkins who reports that the company still has success with traditional releases.

Strategic distribution that is timely and localized and includes multi-media attachments to help bring the press release to life (sound bites, infographics, photos) account for AAA’s increase in story coverage.

AAA Story Count

Keep your news release to one-page and include graphics. It’s easier on the eye and performs better.

A good news release is short and engages the person within 10-15 seconds of reading the subject line. An interesting subject line is short and sweet, not too corny, to the point and sounds important.

TIP: It’s all about content. Use bullet points and include a summary to highlight the key points of the release. Do so by adding a section at the top of your release, “News Release Summary.”

“If content is King, Video is Queen.”

The Science of Multimedia

The Science of Multimedia

63 percent of the world are kinesthetic = Video is key!

Content is king, so find statistics that back up your story. If content is King, Video is Queen.

AAA includes links to b-roll and sound bites (via Vimeo) within their news releases because you can’t tell your story without video.


avatar for Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins

Senior Public Relations Program Coordinator
Jenkins is Senior Public Relations Program Coordinator and spokesman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. Before joining AAA, Jenkins was an award-winning television broadcaster who spent six years as a news anchor and one-man-band reporter in Florida. He leverages his knowledge of the news business toward successful media relations initiatives for AAA.
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