Quality Versus Quantity

When I started this blog back in 2009, I wanted to vent about media relations. At the time, PR people were taking a lot of heat for spamming bloggers. It seemed like every day there was some story about a PR person that had pissed off a blogger. Most of the attacks were probably justified, though the result of years of built up tension in most cases. As I started blogging, I didn’t think it would stick. When I launched my personal blog in 2007, I wrote two posts, then deleted them. I’d write them again, then I deleted them. I ultimately decided blogging wasn’t for me. I eventually came around.

With Journalistics, it was different. In 2009, social media was starting to take off. I had 12 years of PR experience under my belt – and I knew a thing or two about SEO. I never thought of myself as an expert, but as I started to share my suggestions, a lot of great feedback started coming in. I was actually helping people. Some people said my blog had become their favorite (but that’s what mom’s are supposed to say, right?).

If you had told me that hundreds of thousands of people would read my posts, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s what happened. Then the posts started being mentioned by people I respected in the industry. And then I’d have people come up to me at conferences and say, “I read your blog. I love it.” I always thought they had me confused for a similar-sounding blog. [Read more…]

The First Four Months of Journalistics

I can’t believe it’s only been four months since my first post. While I’ve helped a lot of people launch blogs in the past, this was my first serious attempt at blogging to date. I really wondered if anyone would care about the posts I was writing. In February, 156 of you did. Now that might not sound like much, but considering we did zero promotion of the blog to friends and family, I was pleased by the results. I kept plugging away, trying to determine the editorial focus for the blog (something I continue to do on a daily basis), while many of you early readers provided support and feedback, while suggesting the blog to others. Thanks to your generousity, we saw close to 800 visitiors in March.

For many reasons I won’t get into, things slowed down a bit in April, with only a little more than 500 visitors to the blog. This was a wake-up call for me. I realized I had to make a committment to the blog if it was going to be successful. We made some much needed aesthetic improvements to the blog (thanks for your feedback on the changes), and continue to look for new ways to improve the overall look and feel of Journalistics (like switching to the best WordPress Theme in the world, thank you very much). I kicked things up a notch in May, cranking out even more posts, and you rewarded me for it. More than 3,000 of you stopped by in May. [Read more…]

Welcome to Journalistics

You’re probably wondering what Journalistics is all about. While we’re not ready to spill the beans on exactly what we’re up to, it’s only fair that we give you a general idea – since you took the time to visit our blog.

As the founder of Journalistics, I’ve spent the past couple of years observing industry trends and having hundreds of conversations with journalism and public relations professionals about the state of the industry. More specifically, about the state of affairs surrounding media relations. As a PR professional myself, I’ve spent the past 10 years pitching the media – I’ve developed and managed media relations campaigns for at least 100 clients at this point (mostly high-tech startups).

When I started out in PR – like many of you – I was handed a media list and a release and told to “smile and dial.” In the early days, results came easy. I got a rush out of placing stories and working a media list that way seemed to work fine. Over the course of the past couple of years, it’s seemed more difficult to get results for clients. Sure, a lot has changed in the worlds of journalism and media relations – but in a lot of ways, the approach and exchange are the same.

I think my close ratio really went down because I stopped trying to force feed pitches to journalists that just weren’t interested. It was a waste of my time to pitch stories that I knew journalists were never going to cover. Even when the story is a good fit for an outlet, there are probably dozens of reasons why it may not be a good fit for the format, timeframe, etc. The truth is, a lot of the stories that are pitched aren’t really that newsworthy – and ultimately, it’s up to the media to make this call. [Read more…]