How to Get the Attention of the Media “Marilynn Mobley”

1. The importance of building relationships with reporters

2. Tips for delivering your message face-to-face

3. How passive PR can generate active interest

4. Three ways to battle buzzwords

1. The importance of building relationships

If you want to get frequent, meaningful media coverage, learn to

build great relationships with reporters. Remember, they are customers who “buy” from you, not unlike clients who actually send you checks. They don’t want to hear from you just when you want to sell them on a story idea.

Always consider how you can be helpful to a reporter, rather than

the other way around. Here are some proven techniques for ensuring you make the “must call” list on a reporter’s rolodex:

2. Tips for delivering your message face-to-face

When doing an interview in person with a reporter, here are some tips to keep in mind that will help you come across as credible, sincere and knowledgeable:

3. How passive PR can generate active interest

Sometimes, we get so focused on proactive PR, like media releases, we forget there are many ways to promote ourselves — and what we do — that cost literally nothing and yet can be very effective.

Are you promoting yourself every time you get a chance? Use this checklist to see if you’re missing an opportunity:

Think about all the ways you communicate with the “outside world” and, making the assumption someone is hearing from you for the first time, ask yourself if there’s something you can do to make your first impression a lasting one. Above all, be consistent in whatever you do. Always use the same descriptor, logo, title, etc., regardless of the vehicle you’re using to communicate it. Do this often enough and people (including reporters) will begin to sit up and take notice.

4. Three ways to battle buzzwords

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of using buzzwords when talking about certain subjects or industries. But did you know that using buzzwords when sending a reporter an e-mail pitch can prevent your pitch from reaching its intended audience?

Some savvy reporters are now using buzzword filters to automatically screen e-mails (especially electronic media releases) as a way of letting it be known they want us to just say what we mean in plain English.

Several months ago, editors at several nationally known magazines commissioned a study to determine how out of hand certain buzzwords had gotten. For one week, researchers read every single press release sent over Businesswire and PR Newswire and looked for only two words: solutions and provider. The word “solutions” appeared once every eight minutes, while “provider” appeared once every two minutes. These similarities made it difficult for the companies sending the releases to differentiate themselves (after all, more than half of them described themselves as “solutions providers.”)

As a result of the study, reporters developed e-mail filters to look for certain buzzwords they find especially irritating. If a note comes in that includes those buzzwords, it is automatically erased without being read. If you’d like to see a list of “most hated buzzwords,” visit

So, how do you avoid buzzwords? Try this:

The absolute best way to battle buzzwords is to force yourself to get into the habit of saying and writing your thoughts in the simplest, most straightforward way possible. If we can get into the habit of using buzzwords, we have the power to get into the habit of NOT using them!

Marilynn Mobley, the Head Nut at Acorn Consulting Group, Inc., has 25+ years experience in public relations. She is a speaker and consultant who teaches corporate executives, entrepreneurs and individuals how to work effectively with the media.

Her seminar, “I Heard You Twice the First Time: How to Get Your Message Across to the Media the First Time, Every Time,” provides participants with the training they need to be great interviewees. Her speech and seminar,” From Media Zero to Media Hero: How to Get Good at Getting PR,” has gotten rave reviews around the country.

To learn more about her services, visit her web site at call 770-578-6002, or e-mail her at

Want to get paid for knowing the right people? Marilynn pays up to 20% commission to those who refer her for a speech or seminar. Ask her how this works!

Reprint rights: If you would like to reprint any of these tips in your own e-zine or publication, you may do so absolutely free. Just attach the following credit line: Reprinted (or excerpted) from PR Tips and Techniques, a free monthly e-zine by Marilynn Mobley, Acorn Consulting Group,, 770-578-6002. I’d also appreciate receiving a copy of your publication.

Marilynn Mobley

770-578-6002 direct line

770-977-5523 fax

Acorn Consulting Group, Inc.

2046 Renford Pointe

Marietta GA 30062