If you're contacting the media about your company, product, event or client, be sure to put yourself in their shoes. A reporter's day is pretty hectic. The worst thing you can do is get on their bad side. And by bad side, I mean...not knowing some simple, basic things. Try to to make it easy for them. Here are a few helpful tips:
Do Your Homework - Make sure you understand the reporter and the reporter's audience. Do some research. Ask yourself--Will my story appeal to the reporter's readers/viewers? Is my pitch something this reporter will likely cover? (Be honest with yourself!) Tailor your pitch to fit the reporter and his/her audience.
Deadlines - If you don't know what a reporter's deadline is, ask. Nothing frustrates a reporter more than receiving a call from someone when they're working on deadline to finish a story. Typically with TV news, you don't want to call/contact them any time before a newscast.
Yesterday's News (Be Timely) - News has a cycle. The term "yesterday's news" is real. Make sure that whatever it is you're pitching is timely and relevant. Old news is not news and reporters will not be interested. Things are moving fast in the newsroom! Keep up!
Stick To 5W's - Reporters have a big appetite for information, but they also want you to keep it brief and stick to the facts. Remember, you want to make it easy for them. Give them the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE & WHY of your pitch.