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Getting media relations people to call back???

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NancyLou, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. NancyLou

    NancyLou Member

    I've been out of the game for a few years and am stepping back into it with my local newspaper, The New Carlisle News, here in Ohio.

    We're planning a feature on one of the Ben-Gals. It's her first year doing it, she graduated from our local high school, she lives in our town, etc.

    BUT - I can't get the media relations department to call me back for photos or a press pass so we can get photos.

    How do you guys get them to call back? Or is email a better avenue? Or should I go through PR?

    Suggestions welcome.
  2. Can you reach out to her directly via social media? I think that's how we did. I talked to a Ben-Gal and another from the Redskins a few ago.
  3. NancyLou

    NancyLou Member

    I've already interviewed the Ben-Gal.we need photos, as the original message said.

    Media relations finally called me back and we have photos on the way.
  4. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    It's sad someone has to ask this question.
    They're in "media relations." A big part of their fucking job is to call back. Every time. In a timely manner.
    Better phrase would be they're in "media cock-blocking."
    NancyLou likes this.
  5. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Well, it's PR now. They're busy doing a million other pointless things while treating players like kings and celebrities.
  6. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    There are so many aspects of the calling/e-mail conundrum.

    You cold-call a spokesperson or whoever is listed at the contact on the press release and you're sure to get some sort of quote. They're thrown off-guard, they don't know who you are, they blurt out something you can use. But then you tell yourself, hey, I'm not a telemarketer, and start to e-mail. Like a professional, you know.

    But your e-mail response rate is spotty, and on some stories, nil. Desperate, you go back to calling. And wash, rinse, repeat.
  7. NancyLou

    NancyLou Member

    I'm not sure calling rather than emailing makes me less than professional.

    It took the guy about 48 hours to get back to me, after I left the second message, and I think what got his attention was our editor being shot by the local police here. Anyway, he got me some pics and I forwarded them to the paper.

    I wasn't looking for a quote from anyone so your "suggestion" is moot. Given I'm kind of new to posting here (but been lurking for a while now) I won't get snarky. But I could. I just won't. But I could... But I won't. Like a professional, you know.
  8. NancyLou

    NancyLou Member

  9. NancyLou

    NancyLou Member

    At the Bengals, they have both PR and media relations - two separate offices, two separate "great leaders".
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I work at a small paper about 200 miles from the nearest NFL team and, for the most part, haven't had any issues getting responses from NFL PR people. We've had some locals play in the league, and whenever we've needed to hit them up for pictures for feature stories they've always been very helpful.
    Press passes -- and photo passes in particular -- would be a little different because I think a lot of places have started to police the random requests more.

    From my experience, if you're cold-calling them from a random paper in another part of the country it helps to explain the connection. Tell them you're the hometown paper for so-and-so, briefly explain the story you're working on, etc. The Bengals might be an exception (surprise, surprise), but I think most will do what they can for you.
    We had a local player in the Super Bowl last year. His team wasn't able to get us a phone interview, but did at least send pictures and the transcript of a couple of media day interviews that had pretty much every question I'd have asked anyway.
    Another time years ago some Cowboys PR people went above and beyond to hook us up with a second-tier phone interview during training camp -- a backup QB who had played with the Cowboys and in college with a local WR we were doing a story on.
    Maybe not every team is that good. Maybe we've been lucky. But, for the most part, they seem to at least acknowledge everyone's existence.
  11. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    They're both PR. One office is just more honest about it.

    Media relations is more like "making the media feel guilty for being there" anymore.
    Hermes likes this.
  12. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    They're not all bad. Today I needed some file art on a college football player. I emailed the media relations person in charge of football and asked for one photo. I received three about 10 minutes later.
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