The MediaMiser Blog

What’s worse than a mass mailing? Try “faux personalization”

Given a choice, most journalists would rather receive a tailored, personalized pitch instead of a press release sent to large distribution list. But when faced with the prospect of reaching hundreds of journalists, many PR agencies resort to “faux personalization”—sending emails that appear to be tailored, but reveal themselves as mass mailings as soon as we get past the salutation. In many cases, this turns out to be the worst approach of all.

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Comparing dating sites through media analysis

Do you believe in modern romance?

According to, there are more than 54,250,000 singles in the United States—and 91 per cent of them have tried online dating.

Lucky for them, the stigma associated with online dating continues to decrease year after year. Since 2005 negative perceptions of online dating have decreased by 8 per cent, and positive perceptions of the Internet as a means to meet new people has increased by 15 per cent, according to the Pew Research Center.

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Media relations: Timely response is key to winning journalists’ respect

Given all the efforts by PR pros to get media coverage for their clients or organizations, it’s surprising what happens sometimes when journalists reach out for assistance. Phone calls aren’t returned, or if they are, the response is too slow to do the journalist any good. It seems like a no-brainer: If a reporter wants information or access to an expert, you should jump at the chance, right? Yet the opposite happens more often than you might think. The journalists I’ve interviewed often list poor responsiveness as one of their biggest pet peeves about PR.

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Democratic debate: Nearly 50% of major US print outlets declare Clinton the winner

Last night Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders battled it out in New Hampshire in MSNBC’s televised Democratic presidential candidate debate.

And while all major polling suggests that Sanders has a sizeable lead in New Hampshire (varying between six and 20 points) and will most likely win the state, as the New York Daily News pointed out, a protracted Democratic nomination squabble could “end up destabilizing the Democratic primary.”

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Using geographic scope to refine your media lists

When building media lists, many PR and communications agencies/departments implement an audience-classification system based on consumer demographics, industry segments and job functions, and then apply these categories to media outlets. But to complete the task of defining audiences, you also need to consider each outlet’s geographic scope. Most journalists write for either a national audience or a regional one, but too often, we get pitches that confuse the two.

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#SAGAwards: Twitter declares Kate Winslet, Armani the red carpet champions

It’s awards season. And everybody loves awards season.

Nowhere is that fact more obvious than on the great social barometer known as Twitter.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards took place on January 30, the second major awards show of the year after the Golden Globes earlier in January, and there was ample fan buzz both in the run-up to the event and during the show itself.

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Avoid the “vocabulary blacklist” when communicating with journalists

Asked about their pet peeves concerning PR, some journalists point to specific terms in pitches and press releases that raise red flags or are just plain annoying. For example, if you want to aggravate medical reporters, try sprinkling your emails with “cure,” “breakthrough” or “miracle”—a few of the words declared verboten by veteran media-watcher Gary Schwitzer ofHealth News Review.

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3 benefits of using a tracking tool for journalist interactions

Drawing parallels between professionals in PR, marketing, and sales is easy. After all, there are many similar techniques, tactics, and tools used between the three disciplines.

But there’s one tool every sales professional can’t live without that very few PR, marketing, and communications people take advantage of: The CRM. And though those in PR and communications may not use “CRM” in their day-to-day terminology, their needs are strikingly similar to those in sales: tracking prospects and clients (or journalist contacts), maintaining contracts (or nurturing relationships), and—maybe most important of all—recording notes from conversations.

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Find the bright side in negative coverage to improve your media relationships

Like other journalists, I’ve occasionally written stories that drew the wrath of PR professionals. Perhaps the article cast a company in a negative light, or included positive mentions of competitors while omitting a client. Some PR pros handle these situations better than others. Their actions might not undo the damage—from my perspective, the damage is usually deserved. But they may help mitigate the damage, or at least set the stage for a better working relationship.

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