We are often told by our boss to call journalists to sell in a story. This is always unpleasant and totally ineffective. Why does she make us do it?
I’m afraid she is repeating the errors of her elders. It’s the old chestnut: have you got 20 years’ experience or one year 20 times over? For most journalists getting a call from a PR asking "did you get my press release?" is like you being called at home by someone who asks "did you get my junk mail?"
Done well, selling in to a journalist can be effective and even enjoyable. Consider what the story is from the journalist’s point of view – announcements, new products and surveys are not news in themselves. Develop an elevator pitch summary of your story and try it on a colleague, making sure to avoid hyperbole, speaking too fast and too much detail. Only then should you call a journalist.