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Advice from the Media | Mark Hemingway

Name: Mark Hemingway Title: Senior Writer Media Outlet: The Weekly Standard Twitter Handle: @heminator 1) Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less. Lots and lots of reading, punctuated by flurries of writing and...

Advice from the Media | Toby Harnden

Name: Toby Harnden Title: Washington Bureau Chief Media Outlet: The Sunday Times (UK) Twitter Handle: @tobyharnden Personal Blog: www.tobyharnden.com 1) Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less. No day typical. Longest recent day when Boston bomber caught. Out reporting on grnd all week. Started writing 10pm. Filed 5,100 words by 9am 2) What's the best pitch you've ever received? I am instinctively suspicious of PR pitches so best ones are probably approaches I never knew were pitches. I've been invited to go fishing using hand grenades with the French Foreign Legion. That's quite attractive. 3) The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you? Always go there. It's obvious but so many reporters these days use email as a crutch or don't go to an event because it will be on TV or they'll get a transcript. Early on in my career, in Northern Ireland, whenever there was a bombing or shooting I'd go, whatever the time of day or night. It was always worth it - I'd get a different angle or I'd meet a potential contact. It astonished me how many reporters were lazy. Along the same lines - always make the call. You never know whether or not the person will speak to you. But if you don't try, then you can be sure they won't.

PR Tips | Nailing Your Interview on Talk Radio

Speaking on a news or talk radio program can be a great way to spread your message to a large, reasonably captive audience. Your quote for a newspaper article may run only a sentence or two. Television can require travel -- not to mention hours in the make-up chair -- just for a 10-second segment that may end up on the cutting-room floor. A radio interview, on the other hand, can run anywhere from five minutes to an hour or more. You can fit a whole lot more than 800 words in that chunk of time. And there's no risk of your segment being edited out. But contrary to popular belief, long-winded bloviators are not welcome on the air. It's important to be short, clear, and to the point. Talking points are an interviewee's friend. It can be tough to think on your feet during a live interview, so having prepared material at the ready can save you from an awkward pause -- or "umm"-ing, "ahh"-ing, and "like"-ing your way through your spot. Here are some other tips for shining on the radio. - Approach the interview as if it's a friendly conversation. Address the host by name, and thank him or her for having you on. Know the market for the show, and make reference to it. "It's great to be with you, Sean, and with all WXYZ's listeners in Detroit." Those little touches can go a long way to ingratiating yourself with the host -- and may lead to an invite back. - Make your talking points snappy. Sure, it's true that there are 522,144 postal workers in the United States. But it's more fun to say that you could line them all up end to end and they'd stretch from DC to Akron and back.

Advice from the Media | Robert Pollock

Name: Robert L. Pollock Title: Former Op-ed Editor, Editorial Board Member Media Outlet: The Wall Street Journal 1) Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less. I was op-ed editor of the WSJ from 2007-2012, and at the paper from 1995-2013. A typical workday began at home in the early morning and ended at the office around the time the first edition of the paper went to bed at 7PM. That includes Sundays, by the way. I was managing two pages of signed opinion with roughly six pieces per day. We got hundreds of submissions a week and commissioned many ourselves. 2) What's the best pitch you've ever received? The best pitch is not a pitch but a finished piece. Honestly an editor can’t tell much from a pitch, especially a phone pitch. If you don’t have a finished product pitch it by email rather than phone so the editor can see the written quality of your thoughts. 3) The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you? Simplify. Don’t use big words where small ones will do. Beware of bad or mixed metaphors. It’s easy to forget how many common terms are actually metaphors. If an idea can’t be summed up in one sentence it probably isn’t right for an op-ed. 4) If there was one thing you could tell every PR practitioner, what would it be? Use email to pitch. Make sure the product has a well stated thesis in the lead graph, and make sure the product is clean. It’s surprising how many PR professionals send sloppy stuff. 5) What's your craziest or most interesting newsroom story? 9/11. The WSJ was across the street from the WTC. Putting out the paper that day and for months afterward was an amazing display of ingenuity and teamwork from my colleagues.

A Day At King’s Dominion

Every quarter, we take a company retreat. Most recently, we hit the roller coasters at King's Dominion in Virginia. It was a great trip. Here are some photos from the day.

Advice from the Media | Dale Buss

Name: Dale Buss Title: Independent Journalist Media Outlet: Forbes, Chief Executive, Brandchannel.com, Wall Street Journal, Townhall Magazine and many more Twitter Handle: @DaleDBuss 1. Describe your typical workday in 140 characters or less. Pore through news. Handle increasing 24/7 blogging responsibilities. Then turn to find time for longer-term projects e.g. mag stories, books. 2. What's the best pitch you've ever received? I can't single out one of the best, but I can talk about a cavalcade of awful ones, which had one or more of these characteristics: 1) Totally clueless about what I do, specifically and/or about how freelancers or even journalists work; 2) Presumption that journalists want to or are able to work on precisely what the pitch-er happens to be proposing that day; 3) Responding to a query by offering an executive for an interview only to come back later and say he/she's not available. In short, the most effective PR folks forge a relationship with me which ends up paying off both ways. 3. The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you? "More, better, faster, Buss!" -- Doug Sease, WSJ bureau chief in Detroit, 1981-1983; and another: "Boomer [his nickname for me], I want you to go out and capture the mood of the people!" -- Paul "Biff" Dysart, editor, Reedsburg (Wis.) Times Press and renowned community-newspaper editor in Iowa (R.I.P.) 4. If there was one thing you could tell every PR practitioner, what would it be? In addition to (2) above, I would urge them to learn that (most, traditional) journalists and bloggers don't wake up every day wondering how we can best promote an agency's agenda or client. Instead, we're totally focused on how to make ourselves and our clients look smart. That's how it has to be, of course. And if they can find ways to understand and, yes, exploit that truth, we're going to have a mutually beneficial relationship. 5. What's your craziest or most interesting newsroom story? I'll never forget sitting in the newsroom of the Milwaukee Journal (now the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) in 1990, at a meeting where top editors were considering our "people of the decade" section, and hearing one of my colleagues assert, in all seriousness, that Ronald Reagan didn't deserve to be on the list. Of the many, many instances I've encountered of newsroom bias and agenda-setting before and since, this was the most instructive to me. I never quite looked at "newsroom objectivity" the same again.