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20 questions

Dear PR folks… before you send me or other reporters, editors, bloggers your press release(s), answer these questions honestly…

1. Have you ever read anything that the reporter, editor or blogger has written?  If so, have they ever written anything about the topic/subject of your press release?

2. Is this breaking news, a really interesting story or something your client wants to tell others and you don’t have the nerve or knowledge or expertise to tell them that this is not newsworthy?

3.  Do you know if your client’s competitors have written on this topic ? If so, what angle did they take on it?  If not, why not?

4. Is the copy longer than 300-400 words? Can you make it shorter?

5. Are there any typos, grammatical or spelling errors?

6. Have you fact-checked all statistics and confirmed quotes?

7. Do you know how the reporter, editor or blogger prefers to be pitched?  Are you following their preferences?

8. Have you personalized the story/pitch to each reporter, editor or blogger?

9. Do you follow the reporter, editor or blogger on Twitter and know what they like to discuss so you can pitch them intelligently?

10. Is your pitch a sales pitch, advertising or news?  Do you know the difference?

11. Is the reporter, editor or blogger male or female?  Does that matter in how you approach them?

12. Have you included a phone number with your pitch in case the reporter, editor or blogger wants to talk to you?

13. Are you sending attachments with the press release?

14. Do you follow-up with the press release with numerous emails and phone calls?

15. Are the links accessible without having to register or subscribe to a website?

16. How is your timing?  Do you know the reporter, editor or blogger’s deadline?

17. Does your press release/pitch have an intriguing title/subject matter ?

18. Can you sum up the pitch/story message in ONE sentence/ or 30 seconds?

19. Is your message controversial, timely and/or a different take on a subject and adds to the topic/subject?

20. What is your client’s expertise about this topic?

13 Most Annoying Client Comments

 From a PR professionals perspective…

If you do not know why the comments below are unreasonable/insane, you do not understand the news business/cycle / media… and it would behoove you to LEARN. You could ask your PR professional to teach you, ask questions, take classes, educate yourself.

But the gist of this is that it is NOT up to PR professionals whether an article/story gets into the news / media or not no matter how hard they try or want or desire or beg. Bottom line, even if your PR professional does a Fantastic job, ultimately, the Editor/Newspaper Boss decides what goes into print. And if your PR Professional follows the RULES, does NOT send the media ads or advertorial copy disguised as news, has great contacts, and is persistent eventually their hard work will PAY OFF in lots of media coverage… AND it takes TIME, ENERGY and being in the WRITE Place at the Write Time…

Most people want to succeed, do a good job and make money, WIN WIN WIN… so STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and LEARN…

I wrote a few additional comments in parentheses…at the end of some…

http://www.72point.com/blog/our-top-13-most-annoying-client-comments

Ah clients….

They pay us the lovely money so we can’t be too mean about them…but sometimes they make us want to saw our heads off.

Here is our list of the most common, idiotic and maddening client comments we hear on a regular basis – and what we would LOVE to answer them with – if they didn’t pay us the lovely money…

1. “We really need this to make” – Oh, OK thanks for telling us because before you mentioned it, we weren’t planning on trying very hard.

2. ‘“Which papers are going to use the story?” – Um – whichever papers decide it’s OK and that they’ll use it?

3. “Do you know what the news agenda is like for June?” – Hang on a second *looks into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*

4. “Sorry but the release can’t be sent unless the brand name is in the intro paragraph” – OK fine, let’s get absolutely no coverage for you whatsoever. Not any. Not even a Sun Spot.

5. “Do you guarantee coverage?” – Um, No. If you want guaranteed coverage – pay for an advert.

6. “Can you give me a reason WHY the story didn’t make?” Not unless I call every national news desk in the country and ask them directly, which will make us both look like complete tools.

7. “How many papers will the story make it into? – Hang on a second *looks deeply into crystal ball for updates on future murders, natural disasters etc*

8. “It’s what the brand people want, the story has to stay like that” – Grow a pair and tell them it’s crap – and then do your job by telling them how it’s actually going to work.

9. “Can we send the journalist a free gift to coincide with the story being distributed?” – Are you insane?  (sending a journalist a free gift/bribing an editor, is a good way to get BLACKLISTED)…

10. “Can you send this picture of the product out along with the story? –Are you COMPLETELY insane?   (NO Attachments unless reporter ASKS for one)

11. We need more information in the story about where you can buy the product? – Have you lost every single one of your marbles?  (Consider yourself LUCKY if the media prints your website link page or a phone number)

12. “We need to make sure we get page leads with this one” – Oh, OK – could you just hand me that silver wand?

13. At 4pm: “are you able to send this story out to the nationals today?” –Are you in an entirely different time zone?

http://www.aquiziam.com/quizzes/body_language_short.php

A Book Guardian Angel…

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Definition of Author:

An originator or creator or initiator…

To assume responsibility for the content of (a published text).

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editor or proofreader?

The lines can seem blurry… what is the difference between proofreading and editing, you wonder, scratching your head.

Should you hire an editor or a proofreader for your manuscript (book)?  Often writers with limited funds make decisions upon the fee quoted rather than on what they require for the project. These days agents and publishers expect a professionally edited and proofread manuscript. They also expect writers to promote their own books.  It can seem confusing and daunting where to go and what to do next. You’ve written a draft or you’ve written and revised and edited and need a second pair of eyes to look at your material. Now what?

In this competitive world, it is important to know the difference between editing and proofreading and act accordingly.

The difference between the tasks of an Editor and a Proofreader can be compared to the services of a professional dog trainer such as Victoria Stilwell and a dog walker. The former has many years of practical experience, a multitude of resources, tools and techniques at her fingertips and invaluable connections in the book publishing industry, media and other related fields. Editing involves more time, energy and work and a broader range of skills, and can take longer to edit a piece of written material than it does to proofread. The latter is a task that involves checking for typos, grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and punctuation. It takes a certain amount of practice, experience and training to proofread effectively. Proofreaders point out the errors according to a style guide usually.

An editor also proofreads plus rewrites material, makes suggestions for revisions, moving Chapter 23 to Chapter 1 or vice versa (move material around) and goes beyond checking for mechanical errors. An editor checks for readability, fact checks, and suggests additions and deletions to the material. An editor seeks to make sure that the artistic integrity of your written material is maintained. In other words, an editor has a grasp for the entire bigger picture while a proofreader focuses more narrowly upon words and sentences and paragraphs rather than the entire manuscript and its intended purpose.

An editor also is a creative partner, working closely with the writer. The editor seeks to fulfill the writers expectations of creating the best book possible while a proofreader has more of a piecemeal focus and approach.

Depending upon the goals, intention and expectations of the writer, ie, to produce a more polished piece of work in order to get it published,  or to hone the material to take it to the next level, will determine whether an editor or a proofreader is the right person for the job at hand. So it is important for the writer to know the difference between the jobs to know what they require.

The ultimate responsibility to accept or reject each correction or edit is in the hands of the writer.  Don’t skimp on your project by hiring a proofreader when you require the skill and expertise of an editor. And if you seek only proofreading services not editing, make that clear to the person that you hire.

If you have any questions or comments or experiences to share, please do tell. Thanks.