blogging / Multimedia views

Take charge of your stories, but take care when 'marketing' them

from CN8 at the Petco gas explosion.Image via WikipediaHoward Owens has a great list of ways reporters can make themselves more valuable and also “take ownership” of their stories.

Go. Now. Read it. Take notes.

Several of these things I’ve talked about often with editors and reporters. And generating your own story ideas was a requirement when I began as a features reporter (I still don’t understand student journalists who’ve never heard of a story budget before).

I would quibble with one of Howard’s suggestions:

When the story is published, you socially bookmark the story as appropriate; you send the link to bloggers you know who might be interested; you e-mail the link to sources or readers you know would be interested.

Be VERY CAREFUL with e-mails to interested bloggers. I’m a blogger, and I’ve e-mailed friends around the blogosphere with links to things I’ve written that I think they would be interested in. But I do so judiciously.

If you e-mail bloggers too often, you get a reputation like that of a PR hack who sends out irrelevant press releases for every little thing that happens at their company.

Make sure:

  • your story is relevant;
  • you have a relationship with the blogger previously;
  • and, that it’s a two-way street (i.e., he/she is not just a place for you to dump your stories, but a source for story ideas as well).

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