Mediabistro.com is trying out a new column on how PR people should pitch various media. It's done Q-and-A style, with the questions posed by Laura Galloway of Galloway Media Group in New York. She is a former editorial aide at the Los Angeles Times and her first column puts the questions to Joel Sappell, the LAT's entertainment editor on the Business desk. Excerpts:
Laura Galloway: What's your biggest source of annoyance when it comes to PR people? What turns you off?
Joel Sappell: When they don't understand what my job is, or do not appear to have read the paper and the kind of coverage that we do. On any given day, I'll come in and have anywhere from 15 to 20 e-mails from publicists. None are personalized or are pitching stories that fit our newspaper's style of coverage. The net impact is an immediate turnoff....
LG: So Joel, what's better? E-mail or phone?
JS: E-mail. A well-thought-out e-mail. Since I've been talking to you, I've been interrupted twice by other phone calls. I can tell you that in the newspaper biz, phones are not good. Faxes are dead. I don't even go to the fax anymore.