Inspire, Connect, Showcase: Recap of The Lady Project Summit’s Media Panel
Apr 14, 2014 admin
This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2nd annual Lady Project Summit in Providence, RI. Accompanied by an incredible group of women from all around New England, the purpose of the event, and the entire Lady Project mission, was to "inspire, connect, & showcase" women doing amazing things in their communities and around the world. With moving key notes from Tammy Tibbetts of She's the First, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, and Meredith Walker executive producer and co-creator of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls (and Amy's partner in crime), it was hard not to leave with a motivational high. I'll spare you the detailed recap (check my Twitter feed for more of the play-by-play), but I do want to share some words of wisdom from the event's media panel that really struck a chord.
The panel featured Jenna Goudreau of Business Insider; Taylor Trudon of Huffington Post Teen; Debbie Stoller of Bust Magazine; Rebekah Epstein, freelancer for Entrepreneur and blogger for Neon Notebook; Ashley Erling of Rhode Show, and mommy blogger Audrey McClelland as the moderator. Discussing their preferences on what they look for in a good pitch, questions on mentor-ship as a writer, and the good, the bad, and the ugly of the media landscape, it was awesome to hear these professionals echo the standards and expectations we have here at InkHouse.
Jenna Goudreau senior editor of @BusinessInsider discussed how she weighs her pitches and story angles against a certain set of criteria:
- Is this a credible source?
- What makes this news different?
- Why should I care?
Reporters receive hundreds of pitches a day, and it's their job to find the right stories that will get the clicks and have that newsworthy element. Before going out to the media with your clients’ latest news, ask yourself these questions. These answers should be reflected in your pitch so your target knows exactly why they should want to cover the news you’re sending them. If you're not convinced your pitch meets the mark, consider a different angle. What is happening in the world that you can hook into? Think about the larger picture, rather than your immediate bubble to give the reporter a solid reason to care.
Next, Taylor Trudon deputy editor of @HuffPostTeen made a very important point that can be one of the most dangerous and frustrating pieces of real-time reporting. Discussing the "bad" element of today's media madness, Taylor brought up the reverberating pressure to be the first. With the immediacy of online publishing, every media outlet wants to be the first to break the biggest news of the day, and to be seen as the source for true facts. But all too often, the first can be very, very wrong - a PR nightmare. Before you tweet, post or say anything that you aren't 100% certain of, check the facts. In PR, timing is everything when it comes to breaking news and getting in front of the publications that matter. But don't get too ahead of your skis, says Trudon.
And lastly, a message consistent across the entire group was that your pitch should be the “full package.” This means the more information you have to share with a reporter, the better. It doesn't mean your pitch has to be pages long with all the necessary attachments, but it must offer the most important points and have the resources ready and accessible when the opportunity arises. Many of today's journalists are writing three stories a week (or more), versus one assignment pre-Internet days – so they're always looking for stories. Consider the visual elements. Why would this publication's audience care about your news? Make sure to give them all the ingredients for a good story.