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How to Successfully Pitch Media

 

Media pitch tips from a veteran-TV reporter

 

KGW's Pat Dooris spoke to am:pm PR's Speakeasy

KGW’s Pat Dooris spoke at AM:PM PR’s Speakeasy about what to expect if you have a story to pitch. These were his tips.

 

Only Pitch What’s Current.

“I don’t care about something happening in August when it’s February,” Pat says. “I need to fill a news hole today and tomorrow. Much farther out and it better be really good.”

Be Available Now.

“If you pitch me and I bite, you’d better be ready to go in 30 minutes,” Pat warns.  ”I’m not kidding. You have a short shelf life. If I can’t lock you in with that time amount I’m moving on to the next potential source or story. I have no time to waste and no option for no story tonight.”

Offer Compelling Humans.

“Every story needs real people that are affected by the issue we’re talking about. Whether it’s sewers or acupuncture or taxes or a mission to Mars, we need real people that will talk with us for our story – and yes, that means on camera!”

Make the Humans Available!

“I once had someone pitch me a ‘C’ level story. But on this particular day we were short of story ideas so a ‘C’ looked like an ‘A.’ I called back quickly, but they didn’t have anyone…not ANYONE who would go on camera,” Pat shared. “Not only did we dump that story and move to the next – I was pissed and never took another pitch from that person.”

 

 

Be available for interviews when you are pitching a story.

 

What Gets Through

  • The number of people affected – Is it significant?
  • New news – Is this the first we’ve heard about it?
  • Stories with people willing to talk openly.
  • Good visuals i.e. video, compelling photos, infographics.
  • Compelling sounds.
  • Media trained experts.
  • The “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) translation.
  • Something that runs counter to prevailing conceptions.
  • Something that reveals truth about ourselves.
  • Stories that involve emotion.
  • Stories that involve animals.

 

The 5 Biggest Influences.

    1. Emotion
    2. Number of people affected
    3. Visuals
    4. Sources available to go on camera
    5. Good talkers

 

About Pat Dooris

Pat Dooris has worked in TV News for 29 years. He’s interviewed more than 29,000 people and done at least 17,000 live shots. He’s won awards including two Northwest Emmys along with awards from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters and even a National UPI award. Yep, United Press International. He’s been reporting that long. Pat is a reporter at KGW TV and a media coach who trains people and companies on how to respond to the press. Rather than ducking the media, he believes people and companies should embrace the chance to tell their story in powerful ways. Find out more about his services at PatDoorisMedia.com

 

am:pm pr tips

Editor’s Note: While Pat’s tips are focused on pitching TV media, much of his advice works well for pitching any kind of media. So be wise, think ahead, and put yourself in the reporter’s shoes.

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Professional With An Edge: A Lunch Break Haircut at Rudy’s Barbershop

- by Dustin Nelson

The world of PR can be pretty busy, and so can a social life in Portland.

The combination of these two things made it difficult for me to find time for a haircut. This left me with the option of racing against the clock during my lunch break. Per the recommendation of our co-ringleader Allison McCormick, I ran up Division St. to Rudy’s Barbershop.

RudyPic5-300x183The first thing to know about Rudy’s is that it’s cool.

If you’re looking for a serene, spa-like, salon where they serve bottles of Evian and play music by Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Swift, this is the wrong place for you.

However, if you’re looking to get your hair cut in a garage with mismatched, vintage barber chairs, and an ancient Pac Man arcade game, by a group of hip, rockabilly, tattooed Southeast Portlanders then run, don’t walk to Rudy’s Barbershop 3015 SE Division St.

RudyPic2-300x300Actually, you may not have to bother with running, because these barbers are FAST. As I mentioned, I was in a bit of a hurry, so when I sat down with Sam and she got right to work with precision and speed worthy of a superhero, I was impressed. What’s even better, we had a great chat. We talked about some of the different neighborhoods in Portland, the Pride events that we did or did not attend the previous weekend, and the fact that thanks to Nicole Richie, blue hair is going to be the new lavender this year (sorry Kelly Osbourne.) Pretty impressive for the twenty minutes I was in her chair.

On top of that, she gave me one of the best haircuts I’ve had in recent memory. I always want to look professional, but I’m young and I’d like to think hip (hold your comments on that please) so I need a hairstyle that’s professional with an edge. Sam achieved these results even after I stammered a string of adjectives to semi-describe what I wanted. I guess it’s possible that mind reading may also be in her arsenal of super powers.

RudyPic4-300x300If you need to change up your look and want an all Portland experience that results in a bouffant Elvis would be jealous of, I can highly recommend Rudy’s Barbershop.

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P.S. their Instagram is pretty rad http://instagram.com/rudysbarbershop

And if you haven’t followed our new Instagram account yet, make a life choice and check it out http://instagram.com/ampm_pr

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The Beer Chaser: A Tour of Pubs in Portland – Bar None!

 

Portland is the city with the most breweries and beer choices in the world, so it’s no shock that someone took it upon themselves to try them all. Luckily for us, that someone is a friend of our owner Pat McCormick’s. Don “Dirt” Williams is the man using his retirement for the good of beer drinkers everywhere. We highly recommend reading Dirt’s entertaining stories of his commitment to leaving no keg untapped on http://thebeerchaser.com/

Here are some other interesting facts about the Oregon beer industry, and Portland’s more specifically:

  • Oregon’s brewing companies employ 6,400 full and part-time employees-up 900 jobs over 2011.
  • Total economic impact from the beer industry is $2.83 billion for Oregon’s economy.
  • It’s estimated that 47% Percent of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon.
  • There are currently 54 breweries in Portland, 74 in the Portland metro area, 21 in Bend and 30 in Central Oregon and 12 in Eugene.
  • Portland currently has the most breweries per capita of any city in the world.
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7 Tips for Landing an Out-of-State Job

 by Dustin Nelson

I’ve been no stranger to change this last year. My two biggest changes were graduating from college, and trading a small Montana town for Portland, Oregon.

Anyone who has graduated from college can probably attest to the fact that trying not to fail your last semester of college, while also navigating your first grown-up job search is no small task. Trying to move to another state for said job adds to the overwhelming sensation of tug of war over your impending future.

Luckily, in our modern age, the marvels of the internet allow us to project ourselves into a conference room hundreds or even thousands of miles away via Skype and other video conferencing software. However, there are still several factors to consider when searching for a job or internship out of state. Which is why I now bring you, 7 Tips for Landing an Out-of-State Job.

 

1.) Be Open Minded

It’s easy to get tunnel vision when thinking about the future, but don’t let it happen. It’s important to be willing to say “yes” to opportunities and career paths you may not have considered. In the modern world of communications, it’s difficult to know exactly what communications and public relations jobs entail. Trust that your job may evolve and that you may be best for something you never considered.

2.) Do Your Homework

This is essential. When communicating from far away, the company you are interested in working for needs to know how badly you want it. Research the company so that when the time comes for an interview you can answer the questions in the context of the specific work that company does. It also doesn’t hurt to take notes on potential interview questions beforehand.

3.) Show Your Personality

From first contact, through the last interview, be yourself. I know it’s a cliche, but seriously, do it. Your credentials will speak for themselves and as long as being yourself is the best, most professional version of yourself you’re going to fare much better than just trying to be what you think they want. Most professional jobs and internships require close contact with co-workers and it’s crucial that they like you as a person, not just for the work you do.

4.) Be Available

When looking for a job from afar, staying in contact is key. Companies have a lot of candidates to screen, many of which they are meeting in person. You cannot run the risk of being invisible. Check back early and often. If they send you an email, respond as quickly as humanly possible. And let’s be honest, in the age of the smart phone, there’s no excuse.

5.) Shine in a Video Interview

It’s likely that as a poor college student you won’t be able to travel for an interview. No problem! Skype to the rescue. However, the video interview presents a new set of challenges. Energy and “vibes” are very real, and they’re much easier to communicate in person. Smile and dress the way you would if the interview was in person, this helps keep you in the right mindset for the interview. Just because you don’t have to wear pants, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I’m not kidding, put on pants. Preferably nice ones.

6.) Bring Something New to the Table

In a professional field, most of the candidates for a job have the same qualifications. It’s important to remember that the things that make you different, the skills that may not seem to apply to this job, may actually land you the position. It’s important to find how all of your skills are applicable. For example, I have a background in journalism with a strong focus on writing and editing as well as some event planning experience. When applying for public relations positions, my writing and editing skills were what I sold. These different skills are what set me apart and landed me my job at AM:PM PR.

7.) Have Confidence

This seems like a no-brainer, but there’s a reason the term “fake it till you make it” exists. However, faking will only get you so far. The bottom line is that if you know you’re right for the job, then you are right for the job. If you know it, make sure your future employer knows it.

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Fifty Licks (or 100, please?)

Fifty Licks Portland OregonIt’s been a while since the AM:PM PR crew has updated the masses with a note on what’s happening in our ‘hood. We’re hoping to rectify that. Enter: Fifty Licks. As one would imagine by its name – it’s an ice cream shop that we’re lucky enough to be just across the street from. They also serve up superb Cuban coffee and inventive and splendid sorbet cocktails.

What started as a cart operation is now a full brick and mortar ice cream shop, complete with gleaming white tile, an adorable striped awning out front and tables to make it easy to enjoy the sun and a frozen treat at the same time.

Some standouts include the lusciously creamy Coconut Lemon Saffron sorbet and a Clyde Common New Orleans classic brunch cocktail-influenced ice cream, the Brandy Milk Punch. Its 5% alcohol content and just right sweetness level left us drooling for more (Literally. Mike was embarrassed). Who knew you could get more than a sugar buzz from an ice cream cone? We didn’t, but we’re pretty happy such a thing exists. They also have daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., so we’ll be test driving those sorbet cocktails soon!

With spring on its way, you may want to think about checking this place out, and swinging by our office for a high-five while you’re at it.

speakeasy

Rebranding PR 3.0 – Introducing Speakeasy

We started a little informal gathering we dubbed “PR 3.0″ back in 2009 as a way to stay up to date on the latest social networking trends. PR and communications were changing rapidly so we assigned staff members specific areas of study so they could educate the rest of the team at the weekly get-together. In the beginning we religiously monitored Facebook, Twitter, social apps like Four Square, SEO and video. We held our meetings every Thursday at 4pm over drinks in our office or at a cool spot with wi-fi. We started inviting peers and clients and anyone who was interested, and the gatherings evolved.

Four years in social network time is like 40 human years. Changes in social networks are happening daily and the list of social networks worth paying attention to has grown substantially. Our jobs as communicators are increasingly more complicated with so many challenges to take stock in, while traditional media outlets shrink, and catching the attention of overburdened reporters becomes an Olympic-sized challenge.

We recently realized the name for the group was dated when a 17-year-old high school student came to our office for an informational interview to learn more about PR. She asked what 3.0 referred to.  She had never heard of Web 2.0. The name hadn’t been cool for years. We must have looked like dinosaurs.

We decided then to give our PR 3.0 meetings a makeover. With the addition of new team members, new interests, new strategy, and tactics and technology making waves in our industry, we began the search for a name that fully encapsulates this wild industry (and sounds professional enough so that our colleagues from other companies can talk their bosses into attending). After several failed attempts at witticisms, a visitor named Brie Shea suggested the name “Speakeasy.” Perfect.

So, there you have it. We’ll be hosting Speakeasy gatherings twice a month.

Click here to join the Facebook Group to receive and share the latest news.

We’ll try once a month to have a special honored guest we think is extra smart about a topic. Kelli Matthews, University of Oregon’s most popular PR instructor, has already agreed to make a special trip up for one to talk about what she’s teaching the next generation of PR pros. Our next Speakeasy gathering is planned for September 19, 2013 in our office. We’ll have some adult beverages on hand to get your big thoughts flowing. Who knows what could be happening in communications three weeks from now? If you can predict it, you’ll win.

Pat McCormick with daughter Molly and granddaughter Meagan

AM:PM PR Public Relations Professionals Off The Clock: Pat McCormick

This is part 4/4 in our series sharing more information about our team of Portland-based public relations professionals. The last post is from our Ring Master, Pat McCormick.

 

Name:

Pat McCormick

Currently Reading:

 “Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper, the Metal that Runs the World,” by Bill Carter. Mike Phillips shared the book with me before Bill came to speak at a special event in our office. I read about a third of the book and then left in the back seat of my car. I found it last week and I’m hoping to finish it soon.

Currently Listening To:

Les Misérables – Love the soundtrack as much as I love the story. I think “I Dreamed a Dream” is the saddest non-Irish song I’ve ever heard.

News Your Are Following:

New Apple products. I’m anxious that it seems so long since the last iPhone, iPad innovations. The new OS announcements are promising, but I need new toys. And a new Apple TV would do wonders to help my mood.

Plans for the Summer:

No big plans. I’ll be down in Florence in July for Granddaughter Kaylee’s Power of Florence day of community service. I’m also toying with the idea of getting a better bike so I can get back and forth to downtown more quickly.

Favorite Restaurant Experience In Recent Weeks:

Several weeks ago I took three grandchildren – Daniel, Ian and Meagan – to lunch at a Red Robin. The food and the place aren’t that special, but the experience was wonderful. Meagan and I were just a few weeks back from our Disneyland adventure. Ian and I had our Disneyland trip last September, and Daniel and I were there in September 2010. The purpose was for Meagan to share about her trip and compare notes with her cousins. We went through hundreds of pictures recalling the fun things each got to do there. It was amazing to listen to their recollections and realize I’d gotten to share those special times with each of them.

 

Allison McCormick with her family in Florence, OR

AM:PM PR Public Relations Professionals Off The Clock: Allison McCormick

 

This is post number four in our series, pulling back the curtain on the Portland public relations professionals working at AM:PM PR.

 

Name:

Allison McCormick

Role On-the-Clock:

Co-Founder, Partner, Fortune Teller

Role Off-the-Clock:

Mom (actually on and off-the-clock), adventurer, critic

Currently Reading:

Too many emails every day, Gawker as my go-to news source and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at night with my daughter.

Currently Listening To: 

NPR, my favorite weekly NPR podcasts – Snap Judgement and This American Life, my stream on Soundcloud.

News You Are Following:

Marriage equality and gay rights, the recovery of the Boston bombing victims, #FloridaMan and, of course, everything to do with our clients.

Plans for the Summer:

Adventures with the kids at the beach, crabbing, going to the Mt. Hood Adventure Park, camping and lots of paella, sangria and gazpacho.

Favorite Restaurant Experiences in Recent Weeks:

Sanborns on SE 13th, one block off Powell. The service was somewhat slow, but the food was remarkable. Tennessee Red’s on SE 11th was also pretty amazing and I don’t normally choose BBQ fare. You can also never go wrong with Double Dragon. I love the Ramen, but Juan always gets the Bahn Mi. Both are fantastic.

 

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Public Relations Professionals Off The Clock: Alexis Dane

For part three in our campaign to introduce you to the Portland public relations professionals working at AM:PM PR, we’d like to introduce you to Alexis Dane.

2013-06-08 11.19.47Name: Alexis Dane

Currently Reading: I just finished a beautifully written memoir by a Seattle-based author called “Clearly Now the Rain: A Memoir of Love & Other Trips,” and am restarting Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.

Currently Listening To: The Dictators. My love for this band was reignited last week when I met the lead singer at his NYC bar, Manitoba’s.

News You Are Following: The protests in Turkey.

Plans for the Summer: Though I just got back from a week visiting a friend in NYC, I’m afraid I may spend most of the rest of summer working. I’ll be sure to get some weekend hikes and beach trips in, though.

Favorite Restaurant Experience In Recent Weeks: I adore SE Division’s Portobello Vegan Trattoria.