The Art of the Pitch

By Taylor Lord
Pitching. It’s the reason that reporters have a love-hate relationship with PR specialists. A trick to improve your media relations lies in effectively pitching media outlets without hounding reporters. When thinking of a story idea, make sure you remember to consider tactics to accomplish the three pitching steps: the “before,” the “during,” and the “after.”
Media relations don’t begin by picking up the phone to call an outlet about an intriguing story. You need to establish a relationship first. Just think of the name: “media relations.” It implies a connection between you and the reporter. Before even thinking about dialing or clicking send, plan for the pitch.

Before

1. Research

Imagine that you are working on a pitch for a new hire release. You create a media list and settle in for a long day of calling. The first outlet answers and, whoops, they only want product releases. If you keep contacting this publication to pitch new associates rather than new products, the reporter begins to think you are simply wasting their time and will ignore you when you do have a new product to pitch.
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How to lose clients and kill your reputation

By David French
My spouse and I traveled recently to the British Virgin Islands. After we returned, I wrote TripAdvisor reviews of several restaurants we visited. All the reviews were brief and favorable, except for this one:
We were so looking forward to a wonderful dinner in one of the most spectacular settings on the West End. Food was simply OK for the price, and service was terrible. Entrees arrived +45 minutes after we ordered, and several tables who were seated after us were served and finished before we ever got our food.
And the restaurant owner’s response:
You are on holiday. It’s evening. It’s beautiful weather and a ” spectacular setting. ” Why can’t you spend an hour having dinner? Are you really that important? International calls flowing in requiring your attention? Big deals brewing?
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The Bookshelf – The World Is Flat

img_5284By Monty Hagler
(Part of a continuing series on the books that made the journey to RLF’s new office space)
Think of The World Is Flat as business science fiction, circa 2005. Many of the concepts author Thomas Friedman chronicles were still in their emerging phases – the ease in which anyone could outsource research work to India, the blinding speed of digital communication connections, the seamless process of pulling into a McDonalds drive-thru and having your order taken by someone a thousand miles away.
If I recall correctly, I read The World Is Flat about the same time I got my first mobile phone with a camera that allowed you to easily snap a picture and then email it. I don’t believe texting and instant messaging from the phone were options, but on my laptop there was this new tool called Google to look up things without a staff of researchers and assistants tracking down information. And as someone who is paid to look things up and track things down, it was a wake-up call that I’d better up my game.
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The Bookshelf – When Words Lose Their Meaning

By Monty Hagler
As RLF packed up the office space we occupied for nine years, I faced difficult choices on what to keep, give away, recycle or trash. That is particularly true when it comes to books. I’m old-school print, with hundreds of books in the office and thousands on the shelves at home. Sinceimg_5279 childhood, literature has fueled wonder, discovery, laughter, suspense, adventure and knowledge in my life. It’s easy to gather, much harder to discard.
When the dust settled, 20 books made the move to the new office. This Orange Slices post marks the first in a series about each book that opened my eyes to a broader world or taught me lessons that still resonate. I don’t distinguish between reading for pleasure or business, but I do follow a cardinal rule to put a book down if I’m not enjoying it or finding value from it in the first 35 pages.
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How Making Mac & Cheese Is Like Crafting the Perfect Pitch

By Jasmine Forte
On July 14 we celebrate one of the most accessible foods in the world — Happy National Mac and Cheese Day! This popular side dish has remained one of America’s top ten comfort foods for decades.
Making a delicious serving of mac and cheese is similar to crafting an effective pitch in public relations – it requires a simple mix of ingredients, timing, and just the right amount of flavor to win over an audience. Below are some mac and cheese cooking tips that you can apply to creating that perfect pitch.
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Raising Bertie

By Monty Hagler
For the second year, RLF Communications had the honor to work with the Cucalorus Film Festival as a sponsor and public relations partner. The 21st annual festival was a huge hit, and our team had the opportunity to attend numerous screenings, interact with filmmakers and engage in countless conversations with creative thinkers.
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3 Things PR Pros Should Know Before Working With Bloggers

By Amanda Limoges

We’ve all heard it before: Media relations is rapidly changing and bloggers have become an emerging, more common source of news. In fact, blogs might even be the perfect outlet for sharing a client’s story, but how they function and expect to be contacted can often be misunderstood by PR pros. Since I began working at RLF, I have had the opportunity to work with bloggers on behalf of numerous clients, and have developed a few best practices along the way:
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Three Things to Look for in a PR Internship

By Adam Bowers

If you’re studying public relations, you’ve probably heard this countless times from professors, peers, parents and professional connections: It is really important to find an internship. You’re no doubt sick and tired of hearing it, but unfortunately, it’s true. Internships are important in any industry, but they’re especially crucial in PR. The good news is that there are a lot of agencies looking for strong intern talent to support them. Many budding PR pros are tempted to take the first internship offer that they receive, but it’s important to remember that not all internship programs are created equal. There are three things that RLF believes every young PR professional should seek in an internship:
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5 Ways to Survive Your First Year as a PR Pro

By Alyssa Bedrosian

Graduating from college and diving headfirst into the world of public relations can be scary. No matter how many internships you had or how great your professors were, you will never be fully prepared for your first full-time position at an agency or an in-house communications department. Managing client relationships, mastering the pitch, and working effectively in a team are skills that you learn on the job – not in a classroom.
However, there are some concrete ways you can prepare for your first year in PR. As a young professional myself, I’ve learned how to navigate the industry and come out successful, even when that meant getting a few bumps and bruises along the way. Here are some of my tips for those entering the field:
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