Five Reasons You Should Help A Reporter Out

This guest post is written by Bridgette Outten, a journalist and publicity strategist with The Write Vision Group, Inc. As a print newspaper reporter, the number one question she was always asked was, “How do I get in the news?” Recognizing the need for training, The Write Vision Group, Inc. fills the gap between organizations that have good stories and news media that want to tell good stories. 


Bridgette Outten, Write Vision Group


Social media and traditional media have officially intersected at the corner of amazing and awesome with the rising popularity of using social media sites to find or pitch news stories.

What this means is that you can Tweet a reporter your story idea — or find out what they are looking for via Facebook. A viral YouTube video can spark a story all its own and just the practice of Pinterest in various industries has spawned news spotlights all over.

I use such tools to get exposure for my clients — and they work.  If you’re ready to get publicity to generate more buzz about your business or organization here are five reasons you should subscribe to sites like Help A Reporter Out and Bill and Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection :

  1. You can be proactive.  Don’t just wait around hoping that a reporter will contact you. These sites deliver lists full of reporters looking for stories and sources for their stories right to your inbox — and you can contact them directly.
  2. You can find out what’s hot in the news. I’m subscribed to several of these lists and you know what? As Pinterest gained popularity, I sure wished I was a Pinterest expert because they were in crazy demand. By getting a list of what reporters are looking for, you can determine if you’re knowledgeable about a hot topic. From there you can respond to reporters looking or send pitches based on your expertise to your own local media.
  3. You learn about media outlets you didn’t know existed. There are so many publications, blogs, radio shows and television shows out there. And you don’t know what you don’t know until you get that list and realize there is a blog specifically about people with pet rocks. And what do you know! You bought a pet rock last year.
  4. You learn what reporters are looking for. Many people have a general idea of what they think will make the news, but you can learn about what reporters are looking for when you’re receiving pitches straight from them. You’ll learn that TV reporters usually want you to be in the same city while a magazine reporter may do an interview by email.
  5. You learn how to hit a deadline. These reporters usually need the information fast. Learning how to craft a response to a pitch that’s due that same day only refines how succinctly you can describe your expertise. And that’s always great practice for your marketing.

The moral of the story? In may ways, social media is probably the best thing to happen to traditional media — opening up a world of sharing, pitching and promoting. Take advantage of it.

Mark your calendars now for Bridgette’s next workshop in February! 

Upcoming workshop in Chicago: Act Like A Publicist, Think Like A Reporter

If you:

  • Want to position yourself as an expert or community resource in your industry;
  • Need help pitching your stories to a reporter for coverage;
  • Could use media relations training to jumpstart your publicity plan…

You need to Act Like a Publicist, Think Like A Reporter. In our interactive workshop on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, you will learn:

  • 10 publicity strategies to get your news in the news — no stunts included;
  • 7 elements reporters look for when determining whether to cover your story;
  • How to get to strengthen your publicity plan — or get one started — and more.

The course will be taught by Bridgette Outten, journalist and publicity strategist with The Write Vision Group, Inc. Bridgette has been a reporter in Texas and Ohio and currently writes for AOL’s After working with her, clients have had mentions in local media outlets, such as TribLocal and Crain’s Business Chicago, as well as the national Ebony Magazine.

Save $50 on early bird rate, which ends Jan. 4. Click the flyer to purchase your ticket. Contact us with questions at or 773-542-3895.

2 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Should Help A Reporter Out

  1. Hi Bridgette, Thank you so much for mentioning HARO to your readers. We’re so happy to hear you have found success with our service and really appreciate the shout out. Thank you again and happy holidays!

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