AllThingsD Journalists Share PR Do’s and Don’ts: Highlights from PRSA Silicon Valley

By Julie Sugishita

The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

PRSA Silicon Valley recently held an event at Facebook headquarters featuring AllThingsD as part of its Inside the Newsroom series.  I grabbed at an opportunity to attend and gained some valuable insights into this go-to source for “All Things” Silicon Valley.

If you’re looking to place your client or company in AllThingsD, consider these “do’s” and “don’ts” before proceeding:

DO:  Use storytelling!  Mike Issac, social web reporter, thinks the people and personal stories behind a technology are often way more interesting than, say, a new product feature.  An example of something that would draw him in – how a dog soiled a carpet and how that led to an app being created.

DON’T:  Abuse embargoes. Veteran reporter Liz Gannes admits that embargoed pre-briefings are a great way to build connections with startups in their early days. However, she warns that “when I see my post go live and I see six other things pop up in Tweetdeck posted at exactly the same time … and it’s just a variation of the same headline, that’s not what makes me excited. I think probably the worst type of story I write is when I write it and I realize that the only person that it made happy was the PR person who pitched it.”

DO:  Show respect.  Beth Callaghan, Voices and contributed content editor, advises to be respectful of her edits. It’s not a good idea to keep submitting a draft that hasn’t addressed her guidelines and suggestions.

DON’T:  Overuse infographics. “Infographics are played out,” says mobile reporter, Ina Fried.  While not opposed to smart graphics that tell an interesting story, Fried advises against going too product-centric. Try to keep it neutral – steer clear from turning an infographic into an advertisement.  Also, determine if an infographic is the best approach.  Beth Callaghan adds that information like revenue growth could make an interesting graph, but not necessarily a graphic.

DO:  Think creatively about your media strategy.  Is it worth having six reporters talk about the same thing?  Or is it better to have one reporter – who understands the company inside and out – do one thoughtful article on the news?  Ina Fried suggests that choosing the latter is oftentimes a better way to tell a story.  An example – use the one, thoughtful article as a catalyst to approach your other reporters and have them link to the article, give a riff on it or offer another perspective.

The AllThingsD journalists at the event all participate on Twitter:

Mike Isaac_PR Tips Mike Issac – (@MikeIsaac)

Liz Gannes_PR Tips Liz Gannes – (@lizgannes)

Beth Callaghan_PR Tips Beth Callaghan – (@callaghan)

Ina Fried_PR Tips Ina Fried – (@inafried)

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