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HOW TO GET QUOTED IN THE MEDIA Your guide to positive media coverage and relationships

By Damaria Senne & Christelle du Toit

Published by Damaria Senne Media CC 89 Orion Street, Kensington, 2094 http://damariasennemedia.blogspot.com Cover Design

Published by Damaria Senne Media CC 89 Orion Street, Kensington, 2094

http://damariasennemedia.blogspot.com

Cover Design by Ofentse “O.F.E” Mokgethi Photography by Christelle du Toit

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law.

To request permission to reproduce, and for all other inquiries, contact Damaria Senne Media at damariasenne@gmail.com

http://damariasennemedia.blogspot.com

ISBN: 978-0-620-51239-8 Published in the Republic of South Africa First Edition October 2011

Biographies and dedications Damaria Senne works as a writer and publisher. She produces various kinds

Biographies and dedications

Damaria Senne works as a writer and publisher. She produces various kinds of copy, case studies, news articles, profiles, press releases and in-depth reports for a number of corporate and government

in-depth reports for a number of corporate and government clients. She has previously worked for Intrinsic
in-depth reports for a number of corporate and government clients. She has previously worked for Intrinsic

clients.

She has previously worked for Intrinsic Media, a communications company, and ITWeb, an IT media house. She also worked as a communications manager for a number of non-profit organisations, including the Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa and the Non- Profit Partnership. Damaria volunteers for READ SA, a national campaign which encourages South Africans to read and to be well read.

This book is dedicated to my father, who always believed that I can write, and my mother, who taught me to think about the practicalities of a writing life. Thank you for always supporting me, even when I seemed lost.

Christelle du Toit worked as a journalist at various media houses in South Africa for almost ten years, including The Citizen and the SABC. She trained and worked in the fields of newspaper, mag-

She trained and worked in the fields of newspaper, mag- azine, television, and radio, online and
She trained and worked in the fields of newspaper, mag- azine, television, and radio, online and

azine, television, and radio, online and photographic journalism. She has a specific interest in government, politics and community empowerment news.

Christelle has worked as Head of Communications for the Royal Bafokeng Nation in Phokeng, North West, South Africa. She has also served as Provincial Head of Communications for the Department of Public Works

and Rural Development in the Free State Province, South Africa.

To my dad, brothers, and family and friends – thank you.

What reviewers say about the book Here is what people who read the book have

What reviewers say about the book

Here is what people who read the book have to say about it:

What an insightful book. …. I love its simplicity; I can just see how my clients can benefit from this. It’s relevant and to the point. I can’t stress enough just how important your book is, especially to people who don’t have a full understanding of the work we do. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! - Nkuli Mngcungusa, marketing professional and former journalist.

How to get quoted in the media is a clear and informative guideline about the rules of the industry. I’m particularly impressed with the emphasis on building good relations with the journalists/editors. The ebook gives detailed information about what will work best for any organisation to consider publishing/broadcasting information provided by businesses. It educates businesses on how to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with the media. This is a step by step guide on how to make friends with the media without irritating or inundating them with irrelevant information. - Itumeleng Mogaki, PR practitioner, former journalist.

How to get quoted in the media is a must-read for new entrants into the communications field. In fact, I would recommend that employers give new staff a copy of the book as one of the tools of the trade as part of the orientation process. – Pamela Moeng, head of Communications, department of Agriculture, Gauteng provincial government.

I think you have a little gem here! There is some excellent advice

contained in your book, and it’s written in an easy style which makes the points clear to the reader. You’ve kept everything sharp and clear.

Judy Croome, author of Dancing in the shadows of love

Table of Contents Introduction 6 Section A: Getting the Journalist’s Attention 7 Chapter 1: Know

Table of Contents

Introduction

6

Section A: Getting the Journalist’s Attention

7

Chapter 1: Know the media most likely to cover your story

9

Chapter 2: Connect with individual journalists

10

Chapter 3: Have a clear message

12

Chapter 4: Man bites dog

13

Chapter 5: Get to the point

15

Chapter 6: Link your story to recent news developments

17

Chapter 7: Writing your press release

18

Chapter8: Strategies to expand your media coverage

22

Chapter 9: Respect and plan around deadlines

23

Section B: Media Interview Tips

25

Chapter 10: Tips for your media interview

26

Chapter 11: Special tips for TV interviews

29

Chapter 12: Special tips for radio interviews

31

Chapter 13: Why email interviews are your friend

32

Section C: The Morning After

33

Chapter 14: Working with a media monitoring service

36

Conclusion

38

Chapter 5: Get to the point J ournalists’ favourite story pitches are from people who

Chapter 5: Get to the point

J ournalists’ favourite story pitches are from people who get to the point of their pitch at the beginning. They don’t start out

talking about research they either know or can easily find out for themselves.

They also don’t waste the journalist’s time telling them how wonderful their product or service is, or that they are leaders in the market.

The pitch tells the journalist what happened, why and how it happened, and why their readers should care. Sometimes it even gives journalists fresh contacts for expert sources who can substantiate the claims made in a media statement.

Do note that the worst thing you can possibly do is to continuously pitch weak or repetitive story ideas to a journalist. Eventually they just block and ignore you, and when you do have something important to say, the message is lost (think of the boy who cried wolf).

It may sound harsh, but just because you care about something does not mean journalists or their readers should. Bring something strong and new to the table though, and it’s a whole different ballgame.

Remember the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep It Short And Simple. Long rambling statements mean nothing. Short pithy comments that are quotable are better.

Keep in mind that a media enquiry is not an opportunity to climb on your soapbox; it’s a chance to help someone tell a compelling story.

How to get quoted in the media

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If you don’t have anything new/unique to offer for a particular query, but can recommend

If you don’t have anything new/unique to offer for a particular query, but can recommend someone who can, tell the journalist right at the beginning.

Don’t try to hog the publicity, and then give inadequate input that just ends up being ignored.

Journalists value someone who is connected to a network of potential sources as much as they value the people who provide immediate comment. Recommending a more appropriate source also demonstrates that you have insight into how your and their industry works.

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