How to Find Credible Sources to Cite in Media Pitches

With Google at our fingertips, information isn’t hard to find. But finding credible information can sometimes be a challenge.

 

In an era of “fake news,” it is more important than ever for public relations professionals to use credible sources in their pitches to journalists. These credible sources ensure your audience – journalists, and perhaps their readers, viewers, or listeners – can trust you, and that the assertions laid out in your pitch are backed up with reliable evidence.

 

Here are a few best practices for finding and citing credible sources in your next pitch:

 

What makes something credible?

As a PR professional, you are expected to use the best, most correct, most recent, and most reliable information possible. That way, journalists can trust in you and your client’s expertise.

 

Think of finding a credible source to include in your pitch the same way as finding reliable information to cite in your college research paper. To evaluate the credibility of a source, remember the acronym “CRAP:”

 

  • Currency: How recently was it published? Find information published less than five years ago, preferably within the last two years.
  • Reliability: Does the information have evidence to support it? Look for the original source of information, not a news article that cites a source.
  • Authority: Is the author an expert in their field? Fact-check information you find and pay careful attention to the sample size and who or what organization conducted the research.
  • Purpose/point of view: Why was it written? Analyze any biases the source may have.

If you’re not sure if a source is credible, don’t risk it. Find an alternative you know is reliable.

 

Where do you find credible sources?

Credible sources can be subject-matter experts such as professors, researchers, licensed professionals, or high-ranking executives, as well as industry research published in a scholarly journal, by a government agency or well-known research group.

 

For example, when pitching a healthcare client, turn to the National Safety Council, American Hospital Association, and Department of Health & Human Services as resources. For business clients, look at facts and figures from the Census Bureau, National Association of Women Business Owners, and Small Business Administration. In your actual pitch to journalists, link to these credible sources in the body of your email. That way, the reporter can reference the report to get more information about the statistic.

 

Using evidence that does not come from a credible source of information will not convince the reporter you’re pitching that the claims in your pitch are plausible – or even correct – and certainly won’t convince them to write about your client.

 

Ready for us to put together a custom pitching strategy for you? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today.

Why Persistence is Public Relations’ Most Valuable Skill

While public relations may seem like a dazzling profession full of glam, glitz, and celebrities, PR pros understand how truly grueling the work can be. At times, PR can involve a lot of teamwork, determination, and patience, but most importantly, it involves persistence.

 

It’s easy for someone to write a press release about an upcoming event or initiative or even to create a landing page online for blog content. But to really drive results, PR experts understand how crucial it is to be persistent in your efforts – from media relations to content creation and social media, it takes more than distributing one press release every six months or posting one Tweet each week to really drive results.

 

When it comes to conducting media relations or PR campaigns, persistence is particularly important. In order to successfully conduct a media relations campaign, simply writing a release, publishing it on the company’s press page and hoping media will pick it up will likely will not cut it. Brands should consistently test out new story angles and hooks, follow up with media regularly – sharing additional information to pique their interest – and always be on the hunt for a new media contact who might be interested in sharing your story.

 

Besides that, media relations involves a lot of other tasks that require a persistent mindset. For instance, we hear “no” more times than we can count when reaching out to media with story ideas. PR pros invest a lot of time researching the perfect journalists just to find out they’re not interested in your topic. We also hear “maybe” a lot, which can often turn out to be dead ends. The trick is to not get discouraged, but rather see it as a challenge to overcome.

 

The point is a good PR pro understands you can’t take no for an answer. When one door closes, we find a way to open another. By researching additional contacts, sending out new pitches and continuing to persevere, we’re able to secure the results our clients deserve.

 

A young professional starting out in the world of PR might be surprised at just how much patience and perseverance the job takes. However, when you’re passionate about your clients, you don’t just give up. Instead, we work hard to find new opportunities, review past failures and keep trucking forward.

 

Public relations can be an extremely valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. Whether a company is well established or just starting out, it can be very beneficial to position your brand to the public in a proactive way to ensure your brand is well recognized. After all, behind any public relations campaign is a well-crafted strategy, precise messaging, and a whole lot of perseverance.

 

If you’re interested in learning how our team’s tenacious efforts can generate results for your company, contact Lauryn Gray, lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today!

Now Accepting Applications for Public Relations Fall Internship 2018

If you’re interested in experiencing PR agency life and gaining real-world knowledge and experience, then Dittoe Public Relations may be the place for you! We’re hiring public relations interns for fall 2018, and we want you to apply! This internship is paid and part-time or full-time options are available.

 

Here’s what you need to know:

Dittoe PR interns are responsible for assisting with the execution of strategic public relations and social media initiatives and contributing to the success of the firm’s clients. Interns will be mentored by intern directors and work closely with the firm’s entire staff, from account coordinators to the company’s partners.

 

This internship is for detail-oriented, self-starters looking to develop a well-rounded public relations skillset in an energetic and challenging environment. The ideal candidate should have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), initiative, and creativity, as well as feel comfortable juggling multiple projects and deadlines. Key tasks will focus on media relations, research and analysis, reporting, content creation, and more.

 

Sampling of responsibilities:

  • Drafting compelling content such as press releases, media pitches, social media posts, and more
  • Carrying out special event planning tasks
  • Participating in agency meetings, training sessions, and brainstorming sessions
  • Handling research and analysis projects in support of client objectives as needed
  • Researching comprehensive press lists for local, national, and trade media
  • Contributing to the execution of media relations campaigns
  • Assisting with client and business projects as needed
  • Assisting with administrative duties as assigned by staff

 

Key qualifications:

  • Actively enrolled in or a recent graduate of a university journalism, public relations, strategic communications, marketing, advertising, or other related program
  • Previous professional or relevant internship experience (public relations experience is a plus)
  • An understanding of basic journalism and media relations skills
  • Solid, versatile writing skills in both creative and technical fields
  • An ability to be professional and personable in written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrates attention to detail and good judgment
  • Smart, creative, assertive, and innovative individual who thrives in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexible and willing to collaborate with teams
  • Proven ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines
  • Additional knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a plus

 

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with references, and three diverse writing samples to Greta Snell at greta [at] dittoepr.com. No phone calls please. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. EST on Sunday, July 15.

Page 3 of 2812345...1020...Last »