I’m going through a stack of about 50 new emails at the moment, and you guys have really done me proud today! I’ve got a ton of interesting products, new features, and great stories to go through. However, some of them are so interesting that I’m disappointed I don’t already have more access.
Which brings me to the topic of today’s post:
Don’t ask. Send.
Here’s the thing: If you send a release about a new site or product in private beta, please assume we’re going to want to cover it and send any logins, documents, images, or access we might need. Asking a journalist if he wants access to a new, privately released product is like asking a dog if it wants bacon.
We want it.
I know there are many reasons you guys do this. It takes time to set up test accounts. You have a limited number of beta invites. You don’t want anything leaked.
But while we’re waiting for your response, which can take many hours, our deadline is creeping up and your story is cooling in our minds. Worse yet, if we check messages at night or over the weekend (see W2MPRH: On When to Pitch), it could be a day or longer before we read your reply and get the information we need to begin reviewing the site/product.
Perhaps you’ll need to send the release to a smaller, more trusted group than your general tech journo mailing list, but the conversion rate of press release-to-published post would likely be the same or better. And you can always send a release sans logins/pics/PDFs/URLs to your entire list of press contacts.
Word to My PR Homies #7: Send materials and access first, ask questions later.
What do you guys think? Is this a reasonable request from one professional to another, or are we journalists just being a bunch o’ babies again? (Wink, wink.)
Love you guys, and hope you each had a wonderful day!