CLICK – IABC Philadelphia e-newsletter – November 2008

Welcome to the Inaugural Issue of CLICK
IABC Philadelphia e-newsletter of news, tips, and upcoming events

Hello & Welcome to the New IABC Philadelphia Newsletter!

We hope that you’ll find our new online newsletter to be a helpful link to member news, professional development tips and IABC Philadelphia and IABC International events and resources. We plan to publish CLICK every six weeks and I would like to invite you to share news about recent promotions, job changes, awards, etc. and article ideas using the Newsletter Submissions link under Contact Us on our website.

The Board of the Philadelphia Chapter of IABC has been hard at work over the past few months revamping the chapter website and planning member programs. We’ve recently conducted a member survey, the results of which you can read about in this issue of CLICK, and plan to take into consideration all of your feedback as we continue to move forward as an organization. I hope to see you at our event on Communications Measurement in Plymouth Meeting on November 12th!

Best regards,
Lauren Conway
President, IABC Philadelphia


Recap: IABC Meeting of October 21, 2008: Building Relationships With Reporters

If you weren’t able to attend our October 21 meeting, here are a few highlights from Tony DeFazio’s informative presentation. Tony gave us insights from his 20+ years in corporate and agency public relations.

Why build relationships? Maybe you don’t send out a lot of press releases or need to get your company’s/client’s name in the news. But when you have a tight deadline, or there is bad news to manage, having relationships with several reporters means your side of the story has a better chance of being heard and reported.

Tony offers the following:
“Feel Their Pain”
Reporters have deadlines, increased competition, smaller staffs, and a lot of content area to fill. They no longer have the time to check on facts, so it’s important that you are available for a follow-up and responsive to their phone call about your company’s story.

“Know the Beats”
There’s no point sending a press release about the banking industry to the reporter who covers the fashion industry. But some people use a shotgun approach, hoping their release will be picked up by at least one reporter on their list. Don’t do this – it overwhelms the reporters, who have no extra time, and may mean that your next release will be ignored.

Audit the media—read the mastheads, know who has what assignments/beats. Study the ads in a publication; this will give you more insight as to the readership of the publication, and help you tailor your releases to fit that demographic better.

Identify the ten publications in which you most want placement. Get their media kits, which will tell you even more about their targeted readership. The more targeted your releases, the better the chance of the publication picking up on your story.

“Study Their Coverage”
Be aware of geographic limits – some publications will only cover news in their immediate area. Notice whether or not a publication covers what you’re announcing (such as the opening of a branch of a bank) or trends (retail banking in the suburbs). Most local publications are specifics-oriented, while national publications usually focus on trends.

“Access Begets Access”
Coverage is a two-way street. That means you have to be available even if you are dealing with bad news. When a reporter calls, ALWAYS respond. Remember, if they’re going to write the story anyway, isn’t it better to at least try and get your points across?

“Recognize Their Reporting”
It’s often a thankless job, so take the time to read their stories, blogs, etc. Then you’ll be better prepared to tailor a pitch that fits the types of stories you know they write, and you’ll avoid the embarrassment of pitching a story that they covered the week before.

“Content Over Character”
Don’t be cute – don’t joke around. Take the process seriously, and recognize what is truly newsworthy. Remember, this is news reporting, and not promoting.

“Stay on Their Radar”
Keep in touch even if you have no story to pitch. Call the reporters with whom you have or would like to have relationships. But the first words out of your mouth must be, “Do you have a minute?” If they don’t, they’ll tell you. You can ask when they are available, and most reporters will give you a specific time/date to call.

These are just a few of the highlights of Tony’s presentation; for more information please contact Tony directly at

Tony DeFazio is the principal of DeFazio Communications, LLC, a Conshohocken, PA-based public relations agency that specializes in generating media exposure for corporations and emerging growth businesses. The firm provides publicity and media relations programs that help companies improve market share, strengthen brand position and increase competitive strength. To learn more about enhancing your company’s exposure, contact Tony at or call 484-532-7783.


IABC Membership Survey Results


5 tips for editing someone else’s copy
You need to edit someone else’s copy. Whether the someone is a colleague, an employee or your CEO, your insight and marginal notes can help or harm the development of the piece – and the writer. Preferred, of course, is help.
1. Ask how you can help. On the first draft, does the person want to confirm that the piece is well organized? That the lead is interesting and compelling? You can function more efficiently and more helpfully as an editor if you know what the writer wants.
2. Go green. It’s not easy seeing green, but it’s even harder seeing red on an edited manuscript. If you ever revise – for a client, contributor or child –do so in green. Red says Stop. Red makes the reader react in a bullish way, perhaps turning color-blind to the advice you give.
3. Use red to highlight what’s good. When you write NICE! in the margin, write it in scarlet.
4. Sit close to the person you’re editing, perhaps on the same side of the desk. As you collaborate on a manuscript, allow your body language to support the cooperation. By sitting across the table – especially if you have the bigger office, the better view, the higher salary – you engender an antagonism.
5. Stop often to ask, “See what I mean?” “Do you agree?” Editing is about giving feedback, not about cracking the whip.
You know the proverb about not giving poor people fish but teaching them to fish? It applies to editing, too. If, while you’re working on a manuscript, you know the rule that inspires your revision, say so. When you teach the writer why you’re making changes, you help create a better writer.
For writing classes or coaching, go to or e-mail

Upcoming Events and Links:
IABC Philly Communications Measurement Event

November 12 at 7 AM in Plymouth Meeting Learn more and Register Here.

Accreditation Month Deadline Extended to November 15
The deadline for IABC’s Accreditation Month has been extended to November 15. Submit your accreditation application and fee by 15 November, and your name will be entered to win great prizes, including a conference registration to IABC World Conference in San Francisco, 7-10 June 2009. For more on the value of accreditation.

Free Webcast: Bill Marriott Keynote from the 2008 IABC International Conference
IABC has partnered with Thomson Reuters to offer a free-to-member webcast of the 2008 International Conference EXCEL keynote presented by J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International. Marriott was the 2008 recipient of IABC’s Excellence in Communication Leadership (EXCEL) Award. Learn how this global leader inspires more than 150,000 Marriott employees around the world by recognizing the value they bring to Marriott International.
You’ll find the webcast in the Member Centre at
This webcast was made possible by Thomson Reuters.

Free Media Relations Course
Gerard Braud, (Jared Bro) IABC & PRSA New Orleans member is offering a free 21-day media relations course


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