We spoke with Sarah Caron of SheKnows.com, the New Haven Register, and various other on-line outlets about her news release preferences, social media habits, and the shift to digital news creation and consumption. Jump the fold to see what she told us…
Asked how she prefers to receive releases, Sarah said “email is best.” She pointed to the increased awareness of the environment and the desire to save paper and resources. She also noted the speed of email, observing that ”email will get to the reporter faster… wherever they are.” (We love the point about the environment!)
Regarding receiving releases from people she doesn’t know, she says she gets them all the time. As long as senders are familiar with her work and the release is relevant, she doesn’t mind at all. She definitely likes a little personalization and does not want irrelevant releases.
She also doesn’t want to receive anything that will clog up her inbox so avoid any attachments or large files. However, releases with links that can lead her easily to where she can find, view and grab a variety of related collateral “is the best.” She also wants the “who, what, when, where, why, how” with her release and advises PR professionals to “skip the editorializing.”
She shared a few other pieces of advice for PR professionals. First, “never assume.” She pointed out that because she’s a mother, people sometimes assume she’s not tech savvy. She also noted that ”not all journalists are created equal.” In today’s media environment, reporters are coming from various backgrounds and employ all sorts of work habits: some write from home, some are always on the go, some never make it to the office, etc. So it is best to be familiar with your audience and tailor your approach accordingly (work at home moms, for example, won’t welcome phone calls!) She also advised personalization and stressed relationship building.
She is using social media–Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in–and does have some PR professionals who are her friends on those sites; she enjoys interacting with them in this broader way.
Finally, asked about the shift to digital, Sarah underlined the demand, “no matter who you’re writing for, to have digital content… not just one-dimensional on the print page, but three-dimensional.” She mentioned releases that have things like recipe tips she could link to from an article in SheKnows, for example. “That can help me because it lets us branch out and give our readers more information.” The word “integration” is the key.
We enjoyed chatting with Sarah and appreciate her time. I’m sure our readers will appreciate her tips as well!