When you just have to say “NO”

January 7th, 2010   •   no comments   

The art of storytelling sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day chaos of managing projects for clients, meeting deadlines, managing people not to mention the many distractions now available on the internet.  The other night I was “tweeting” during #journchat and someone tweeted that they appreciated reporters who helped them when they had to “pitch a weak story.”  My immediate response to that was NEVER pitch a weak story! That is rule #1 in my firm.  If a client has a story they want told, it has to pass our test which is simple (I love simplicity by the way).  If a client cannot fully answer these questions, we tell our clients “no” when pitching stories:

·         Does this information appeal to the masses?

·         Why would someone care about  this information?

·         Is it relevant (to the market, audience, etc)?

·         Does it have multiple “hooks” of interest?

·         Is it totally self-serving?

·         Is it a “one-off” (stand alone piece of information that won’t go anywhere else)

Bottom line is if I cannot—with confidence and passion—sell a pitch to a reporter, I won’t do it.  Sometimes this means the client gets upset but once I explain these two points, they calm down:  1. My credibility is on the line as your PR person and I cannot pitch what I cannot buy and 2. Pitching a weak story (even IF a reporter would write about it) can decrease your chances of getting a more important story later.  Save your bullets for when you need them!

Amy Howell

Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC

408 S. Front Street, Loft 104

Memphis, TN 38103

(901) 521-1453 office

(901) 351-7186 cell


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