What really grabs an editor or producer's attention? It's not what you might think.
Baila Lazarus, features editor for Business in Vancouver newspaper and managing editor for the Business Examiner newspaper series, is holding sessions, on How to Get Your Business into the Media.
These interactive workshops are for PR pros and business owners alike, who want to learn the ways to get your name and company into the media – whether it’s print, online, TV or radio.
We asked Baila to give us some insight into what you'd take away from the session, here's what she had to share:
1. How did the idea to hold the How to Get Your Business into the Media sessions come about?
It was after the umpteenth time that I read through a pitch from a small-business owner where the subject line did not match the email; and the real focus of the story was buried in about six full paragraphs. I knew the owner so I helped him redo it. It turned out he had elicited some help from a publicist. I realized there was a strong need for this.
2. What are some of the top-line key points you will learn at the session?
You’ll learn how editors and producers think, i.e. the process of story selection; how to align what a business can speak to with what an editor needs; and you’ll learn how to frame the pitch (including the subject line and the body of the email) so you hit the editor’s needs between the eyes. (I love mixing metaphors.) Here’s a sample: It’s not about what business owners do; it’s about what they know.
3. Do you see a great need for media story pitching training in Vancouver?
I’d say 85% of the pitches I receive, either directly from businesses, or from PR companies, could use help in their targeting. I was amazed to find out how many PR companies don’t even know that BIV has an annual content planner that shows all our feature sections for the entire year.
4. Who should attend the session?
Anyone who is looking to get their name into the media or are acting on behalf of a client who wants to get into the media.
5. How long have you worked in the media?
First job right out of journalism school at CBC television news was 1990 (That was hard to say!).
6. What’s the most irksome approach you’ve noticed PRs take when pitching you?
Starting an email with too much background and context right off the top, and burying the lead. Aaaaargghhhhhh!
The sessions will be held approximately once per month on different days/times of the week at YWCA Vancouver. For up-to-date information, check Baila’s website.
Space is limited to 20 participants. Reserve your seat quickly.
Baila Lazarus is a certified life coach, features editor for Business in Vancouver newspaper and managing editor for the Business Examiner newspaper series: Fraser Valley; Thompson Okanagan; Victoria; Vancouver Island. She has more than 20 years' experience in print, broadcast and online media production.