For the past two summers, I have interned at Verizon Wireless in their public relations department and Jeff Dezen Public Relations in Greenville, S.C. While there, I wrote a variety of news releases and helped distribute them to the correct media. Last week, in my stakeholder comm. class, we discussed news releases. We also discussed how to figure out who to send certain pitches and releases to and how to create media lists.
We were given a PR challenge in class to pitch an artist from Seneca, S.C. who makes interesting light bulbs. Our team assignment was to make up our artist’s name, background, and story. We decided that our artist’s name was going to be Giselli Dias and she was going to be from Brazil. Our imaginary artist moved to Seneca after meeting her husband while he was doing research in Brazil for his new restaurant. She makes one of a kind, moderately priced light bulbs. Our artist’s business is named “A Luz de Giselli”, which translates to: The Light of Giselli.
We also needed to create a media list of 15 media sources and 5 bloggers. Our team’s strategy was to mainly look for South Carolina print media who specifically wrote about the home. We each searched individually and collaborated our findings in a folder on Vocus.com. It was really easy to navigate the Web site and figure out how to search for journalists with a certain niche.
Our group assignment was to draft two pitches: one to a specific blogger and one to a specific journalist. It was good working with a group because everyone had a new idea to contribute that made the pitches better. After researching the blog that we pitched to, we molded our pitch to appeal to the “home decorator blogger”. We made our pitch short, sweet, and to the point. We also explained that the blogger hadn’t posted about home decorating with lights and that featuring lights would be a good idea. For our journalist pitch, we decided on a writer for the South Carolina Home and Garden magazine. In this pitch, we made sure to mention that the light bulbs were made in the state of South Carolina so that it was relevant to their magazine.
I feel as though my internships have helped me in my stakeholder comm class because of the experience that I have gained through hands on practice. Before we talked about media lists in class, I knew what they were because I created many of them over the past two summers. Instead of Vocus, I used MediaAtlas.com to make media lists at JDPR. After using both Web sites, I’ve noticed that they are very similar and give just about the same information. To me, it is interesting to learn how to pitch stories to certain journalists or bloggers because pitching wasn’t one of my responsibilities during my internships.
I like putting my past experiences to use… especially when they have to deal with class assignments.