Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Journalists are human--and have feelings, too

We recently had a client not upload an article to their website because they didn’t like a particular sentence.

We didn’t know this know until the draft of articles published that quarter was given to us for review.  

Not only had they left out the reporter, but they included a rival’s version of the story.

This may not matter—although reporters do appreciate getting hits for articles posted on social media, etc.—but that reporter broke the story, an issue with journalists.  

The client's business also was the reporter's beat, so could write story after story; while the rival only wrote about businesses once.

As a result of a seemingly innocuous decision, the client could have lost the only local reporter currently covering their  issues.  

When I explained the consequences to the CEO, she immediately saw that the article should have been included in the newsletter and on the website; had she been involved in the decision, it would have been.

Luckily, we caught it in time and think that the client’s team will better appreciate the “politics of the media" in future.

For more information on media and media relations, please contact us at Dell Richards Publicity,    

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to target winning press releases

Trade publications need more detail and less big-picture than the mainstream press.

If you weave in related information, you can target two or three different types of trades, such as construction and environmental or transportation, at once.  

Business weeklies and the business section of the local daily need some detail and more information on the importance to make it meaningful for the business reader not in the industry. If they want more info, they’ll ask for it.

Use a person for the “anecdotal lede” as a way to add human interest to a news or feature release for local newspapers and weekly tabloids that run releases. 

Add quotes for emphasis and color only, not new facts.

Unless you have three months or more to send information to magazines, target events to broadcast media.

Nonprofit fundraisers that can be previewed or happen in the morning are perfect for local AM shows.

News events, such as grand openings, need to be held at a time that works for reporters, such as 10 a.m. That gives them time to gets interviews and visuals, write and edit the story for the evening news deadline.

Television needs action; talking heads won’t cut it.

For more information, contact Dell Richards Publicity at

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to pitch the media

We recently pitched an item from Witherell’s auction—a famous document from World War II.   

It took me three days to sort through the information—and let it gel—before I came up with a succinct hook.

“Surrender? Nuts! Pivotal World War II battle document for auction.”

Not only did we need a catchy subject line, but we also needed to explain what was going on in a few sentences, so the editor could glance at it, delete it or pass it to a reporter:

“For the first time, the surrender document sent to General Anthony McAuliffe by the German commander that played a pivotal role in World War II is up for auction.

Far outnumbered by German troops and armaments, McAuliffe’s famous one-word response “Nuts” and his determination to hold his ground at the battle of Bastogne—a key access point in the region—helped the Allies keep the Western Front from the Axis powers during the war.”

When I called to follow up, I didn’t ask the editor if she’d received or read the pitch.

I told her about the 1945 press clipping from the same newspaper about the ceremony where an engraved pitcher from the auction was presented to the war hero.

She was intrigued, interested in the story and said she knew the perfect place for it.

I followed up by sending her the clip and more information on the pitcher.

For more information on publicity, contact Dell Richards at