It has become apparent to us that the first thing they teach you in PR school must be that the way to add value for your clients is to send journalists emails with headlines like this:“STORY IDEA!”
Well, maybe those emails get read by journalists at the New York Times et al, but at Business Insider, we are sorry to say, they go right in the “Trash” folder.
Well, with respect to “STORY IDEAS,” because not once in four years has one of these ideas ever been for a story that we’d even want to read, much less write.
And with respect to the second, because we just don’t want or need to know that you have an “EXPERT AVAILABLE.”
Here’s what we do want, though:
* CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FOLKS WHO HAVE SOMETHING INTERESTING TO SAY
So, we have a suggestion for all you PR folks. Instead of cc’ing us on your blasts of STORY IDEAS and EXPERTS AVAILABLE, just send us the following:
* Actual stories. These can be on any topic relevant to the stuff we cover. The only requirement is that the stories be accurate and worth reading. You can go ahead and mention your client’s name in the stories you send us, and describe their products and so forth, as long as you identify yourself as a PR person and any clients you mention as clients of yours. If you make the stories too boring and promotional, they probably won’t satisfy the “worth reading” condition. Similarly, if you lie about your clients to puff them up, they’ll fail the “accurate” condition. But otherwise, we’re happy to take a look.
* Essays or quotes written by your experts. We’re sure the “experts” you represent are brilliant people with insightful things to say. But, frankly, we have no time to talk to them. We are always interested in hearing insightful things said by brilliant people, though, so feel free to just have your expert jot down his or her thoughts in an email and send them to us (or send us their blog posts). And send a headshot and bio, too. And we’ll publish them–fully attributed. We’ll even link back to your expert’s home page or company or or blog or whatever.
In short, please stop sending us emails with STORY IDEAS and EXPERTS and just contribute directly to Business Insider. You’ll get a lot more ink for yourself and your clients, and you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted work. And as long as you actually DO have good story ideas and your clients ARE actually experts with insightful things to say, we and our readers will be thrilled.
You can read more about contributing to Business Insider here >