Top 6 Media Relations Tips From Crain’s Business Detroit

By : Megan Peterson

The year’s first PRSA event started out with a bang in January. Seven prestigious members of Crain’s Detroit Business’ news team joined our chapter at Lawrence Technological University to talk about their team.

The panel shared lots of interesting information about its adjusted business model (check out the Franco blog for more information on that!), and a slew of tips and tricks for positive relationships with them! Here are those tips…

  1. Know who you’re pitching. AKA do your research and know which journalists report on which topics. Plain and simple.
  2. NEVER mass pitch. Each pitch should be individually customized so that it’s relevant to the reporter and his or her readers. (This was a particularly irksome topic for the Crain’s crew, understandably so.)
  3. DON’T over-sell. Just be candid and show that you know what the reporter pitches and why your story idea is relevant/impactful to the business community. Lee stated, “There’s nothing worse in the world than a headline that over-promises,” so there’s NO point in overselling at the get-go.
  4. Show off how you/your organization/your client are making a difference. Bull eloquently said, “I got into ‘the business’ to tell stories that make a difference.” So, it goes without saying that PR pros should focus their pitching efforts on people, ideas, etc. that are making a difference in and around Detroit.
  5. Communicate proactively. If you’re going to have breaking news Crain’s is open to receiving embargoed releases and off the record heads-ups because they LOVE exclusive stories, so don’t be afraid to reach out!
  6. Be accurate. Fournier said, reminiscing on his old AP days, “Be first, but first, be right.” This is on us, and the media, to ensure accuracy at every turn. No excuses.

As Lee put it, “In a world of push alerts if (Crain’s Detroit Business) can get the story to someone 30 minutes early that means we’re valuable.” So, it’s our job to help Crain’s, and the media at large, communicate our stories in a timely and accurate manner!

Many thanks to Crain’s Detroit Business, LTU and all who attended.

  • Ron Fournier, Publisher/Editor (not pictured)
  • Mike Lee, Managing Editor
  • Kristin Bull Director, Crain Custom Content
  • Lisa Rudy, Director of Sales
  • Beth Reeber Valone, News Editor
  • Amy Elliott Bragg, Special Projects Editor
  • Bill Shea, Enterprise Editor/covers the business of sports

Megan Peterson is a Senior Account Executive at Franco, a national/Detroit chapter member of PRSA, Detroit PRSA blog committee chair and a PR volunteer for The Lake House in St. Clair Shores.

Picture provided by Megan Peterson. Pictured is the most of the panel (LtoR), Mike Lee, Kristin Bull, Lisa Rudy, Amy Elliott Bragg, Beth Reeber Valone and Bill Shea.