The phone rings in the editorial office. Someone picks it up. It’s from a communication agency. The journalist shivers. Or grunts. Or sighs. He doesn’t have the time to chat. And he’s right. He hasn’t got the time, so we have under a minute to empathize with him and tell him something that will interest him. Easy? Impossible? Let’s try:
- Tell him something he’ll be interested in. We are talking to an information professional. Someone with the ability to know wether what you are saying has any interest or not. In other words, call to tell “tellable” stories.
- Talk to him as you would to your area manager. In that very moment, you are selling a story, just as you did, if you did, when it was you walking in his shoes and struggling to get a minute for your piece in the news or to write a few lines in the newspaper.
- Be empathetic. Show him and prove to him that you are colleagues, that in the end we all work to tell stories that interest people. Show interest in his point of view regarding the information offered and make things as easy as possible for him to make your information his.
- Be nice. We have already stated that the journalist has no time to lose. Don’t make it easier for him to hung up on you after an unpleasent answer to his moan. Understand his circumstances, take a deep breath and keep a smile on your face: it’s you who wants to be listened to.
Following these instructions does not garantee that all the media take your information, but it does assure you that you will be listened to with a more positive attitude. Don’t ever forget that it’s the what that’s important, the piece of news you are offering, so plan your call well before picking up the phone: you have to make the topic interesting. And remember, you’ve got just one minute. Good luck!
Nerea González, Account executive. Consumer Products & Health Division