Category Archives: CommVIT

Follow Up

Stage Four: Follow Up
It is best to follow up a pitch letter with a telephone call to see if the reporter received the material and is interested in the story.As the reporter begins to shape the story, be prepared to offer assistance with further resources, such as interviews with senior management. Offer only someone who can add to the story and whom you can deliver within the reporter’s time frame.
Disappointing a reporter by overpromising is a sure way to kill the story that you’ve worked hard to pitch and place. Therefore, you must clear the possible interview with the executive in advance. You might start by telling the highest-level person involved with the project that you’ve pitched a story about the high-definition video camera to Videography and they seem interested. ‘‘If the story goes forward, I recommend that we offer an interview, and of course, the reporter’s first choice would be you. What’s your availability?’’ The executive may not be willing to do the interview. The decision may depend of the status of the executive, the relative importance of the publication or the
article, or previous interactions with the specific journalist.
If the executive is not willing or not available within the projected time frame, ask who else might do the possible interview, whom the publication would be interested in talking to, and who is familiar with the technical issues.When you speak to that executive, conveying the wishes of his boss, he or she will be both flattered and eager to oblige if he or she will be available before the reporter’s deadline. You can then comfortably offer the interview to the reporter.
Whenyou call, you can tell the journalist, ‘‘I’m calling to make sure you received the material, and I was wondering if you would be interested in talking to Ms. CEO for your story?’’

In today’s world of ubiquitous voice mail, be prepared to leave effective and tantalizing messages, such as, ‘‘I have a possible senior-level interview that might be helpful for your story.’’ The more you can promote one-on-one conversation with the journalist, the more subtle influence you can have on what is included in the story,
what is emphasized, and what is downplayed. Always remember that reporters are extremely busy and may not have time even to take your call. Use discretion to identify whom to call and when. For example, editors on morning
newspapers are on deadline in the afternoon, so the best times to call them are usually between 10:00 a.m. and noon. Radio and television editors have varying deadlines, but one rule is safe:
never call right before airtime. As we’ve shown, the pitch e-mail and pitch letter are crucial to effective public relations. Take the time to prepare them correctly. Then ensure their effectiveness by following up with an offer to provide additional information, and possibly an interview with the highest-level executive who is familiar with the areas that will interest the readership of the publication.

Chapter Recap
Here are the stages for successful pitches:
1. Analyze the subject, and identify the target.
2. Call the editor.
3. Write your pitch. Begin with a reminder about your telephone conversation. Then write a catchy lead and brief, informative text. Wrap up the pitch, and say you will follow up.
4. Follow up.

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Writing a Catchy Lead,Compose Brief, Informative Text

Writing a Catchy Lead
The opening paragraph of a pitch letter is the best chance you have to interest an editor. You have only the time it takes an editor to reach for your faxed letter in the in-box and lift it from the desk to rivet his or her attention and prevent it from being tossed directly into the trash. If you pitch by e-mail, and most people do these days, your window of opportunity is even briefer; your subject line must arrest the editor’s habitual ‘‘Delete’’ response.
As with all other good copy, the lead of a pitch should be enticing and informative; it should make the editor want to
read on. Here are some good opening paragraphs and subject lines.
This one is directed to the editor of a financial publication:

Did you know that while 95 percent of female chief financial officers would recommend the career to other women starting out now, only 61 percent of them expect tofinish their careers in the CFO function?
These are only some of the surprising and interesting results of a recent survey of female CFOs undertaken by the executive search firm Korn/Ferry [Korn/Ferry International 2006].

The first sentence is often the hardest part of a pitch letter to write. One of the best ways to formulate an opening line is to single out the most newsworthy aspect of the subject you are pitching, and state it simply.

If you are pitching a case history, an interview, or a survey, you need to build up to the pitch with a provocative opening. The pitch from Korn/Ferry is a good example of this type of opening line: ‘‘Did you know that while 95% of female chief financial officers would recommend the career to other women starting out now, only 61% of them expect to finish their careers in the CFO function?’’ It’s a catchy opening, urging the editor to read on and find out where this fact came from and where the pitch is going. This lead is an example of how to make a dry subject interesting.
When writing an opening line, try to come up with something fresh and intriguing. Don’t use the first paragraph to give a lengthy history of the company you are pitching or explain who you are. (Your name, title, and contact information should be listed at the end of every e-mail or letter.) And don’t tell the editor about his or her readership. Many novice writers make the mistake of opening a pitch letter with something like this: ‘‘The readers of Videography are interested in the latest developments in the video industry.’’ That sentence only reiterates the obvious. Certainly a reporter for Videography will know what the magazine’s readers are interested in. Don’t waste time by pointing that out.

Compose Brief, Informative Text
Once the opening paragraph has caught your reader’s attention, the rest of the letter must flow smoothly and logically. If your opening line is, ‘‘Turn On the Sunlight (TOTS) has developed the world’s first self-cleaning solar roof panel,’’ your next sentence should take a natural step of detailing the facts behind that claim.

Thus, the second sentence might be this: ‘‘The effect of this patented technology means that TOTS’ panels will continue
working at 100 percent efficiency, even in smoggy city and foggy coastal environments where pollution and mineral deposits can quickly lower solar collection efficiency by 30 to 50 percent. TOTS’ breakthrough means more solar electricity generated, more fossil fuel conserved, and more money saved, according to John Doe, Vice President of Product Research for Turn On the Sunlight. Doe contends that the new panel. . .’’ Stick to the facts, and avoid using adjectives, especially words like unique, greatest, phenomenal, and incredible, which are overused and rarely true.

Through use of techniques such as numbered lists and bullets, you can pack in a large number of hard facts clearly and concisely. Whether you use bullets or straight prose, always keep your letter short. Rarely are you justified in writing a pitch letter longer than one page or an e-mail longer than three or four short paragraphs. When you have finished a draft, ask yourself a few questions:
• Is there any redundancy in the letter?
• Is there any information that is not vital to the story?
• Is there a faster way to get to the point?
There are standard lines for ending pitch letters. Each writer has a preference, but most end their letters with sentences such as Cohen’s, ‘‘Looking forward to your thoughts,’’ which implies further conversation. Others prefer to state more explicitly, ‘‘I’ll call you in a couple of days to see if you’re interested.’’

Some of the ways you can show sensitivity

these are some new insights which i’ve gotten from The Lost art of Listening, i still reading this book; now i am still in 8th chapters, hopefully i could finish this book soon and also could applicate all of its contents in my daily life or probably yours too. the reasons why i wanted to share sort of those book content is due to my lack ability to understand in appropriate way; regarding to my daily life activities, in terms of my connections with my friends and families. i realized that my ability to understand them are still low; thus i; as part of their life wanted to appreciates their feeling in an appropriate manner. i hope i could be your best friend guys, i am so sorry if during my relationship with you i cannot give you honest and sincere listening. i still learning though; i beg your apologize of all the things i’ve done to you in general and some of my intimate friends in particular if i made mistakes during our relationship. please poke me; if i made something unpleasant to you.  here are Some of the ways you can show sensitivity :
• Paying attention to what the other person is saying
• Acknowledging the other person’s feelings
• Listening before giving an opinion
• Listening without offering advice
• Listening without immediately agreeing or disagreeing
• Noticing how the other person appears to be feeling—and then asking
• Asking about his or her day, both before and after
• Respecting a person’s need for quiet times
• Respecting a person’s need to address problems
• Listening to but not pushing too hard for feelings

that was some tips to improve our sensitivity. hopefully it would be useful in our daily life.

Ja Matta.

How Good a Listener Are You?

How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships
Second Edition by Michael P. Nichols, Phd.

hey folks, recently i read a great book, which i’ve been learning for improving my communication skills, after i tried to fill these questions with the required numbers; i got 58, it means that i still have lack abilities to understood my friends, i didn’t listen up to them in appropriate ways, i still poor to being a person who have great communication skills, i hope these questions could also give benefits to you; for whom who have great curiousity and passion to understand their friend; couple; and also environment.

How Good a Listener Are You?
When someone is talking to you, do you:
1—Almost never 2—Sometimes 3—Often 4—Almost always

___ 1. Make people feel that you’re interested in them and what they
have to say?
___ 2. Think about what you want to say while others are talking?
___ 3. Acknowledge what the speaker says before offering your own
point of view?
___ 4. Jump in before the other person has finished speaking?
___ 5. Allow people to complain without arguing with them?
___ 6. Offer advice before you’re asked?
___ 7. Concentrate on figuring out what other people are trying to say,
not just respond to the words they use?
___ 8. Share similar experiences of your own rather than inviting the
speaker to elaborate on his or her experience?
___ 9. Get other people to tell you a lot about themselves?
___ 10. Assume you know what someone is going to say before he or she
is finished?
___ 11. Restate messages or instructions to make sure you understood
correctly?
___ 12. Make judgments about who is worth listening to and who isn’t?
___ 13. Make a concerted effort to focus on the speaker and understand
what he or she is trying to say?
___ 14. Tune out when someone starts to ramble on, rather than trying to
get involved and make the conversation more interesting?
___ 15. Accept criticism without getting defensive?
___ 16. Think of listening as instinctive, rather than as a skill that requires
making an effort?
___ 17. Make an active effort to get other people to say what they think
and feel about things?
___ 18. Pretend to be listening when you’re not?
___ 19. Respect what other people have to say?
___ 20. Feel that listening to other people complain is annoying?
___ 21. Make effective use of questions to invite people to say what’s on
their minds?
___ 22. Make distracting comments when other people are talking?
___ 23. Think other people consider you to be a good listener?
___ 24. Tell people you know how they feel?
___ 25. Don’t lose your cool when somebody gets angry at you?

Scoring
For the odd-numbered
questions, give yourself four points for each question
you answered “Almost always”; three points for “Often”; two points
for “Sometimes”; and one point for “Almost never.” For the even-numbered
questions, the scoring is reversed: four points for “Almost never”; three
for “Sometimes”; two for “Often”; and one for “Almost always.” Total the
number of points.
85–96 Excellent
73–84 Above average
61–72 Average
49–60 Below average
25–48 Poor
1. If you got a high score on this questionnaire, congratulations. Read on
to reinforce what you’re already doing and perhaps get some additional
ideas for improvement. If you scored less well, pick out one bad habit
at a time and practice letting others finish talking, and then let them
know what you think they’re saying before you say what’s on your mind.
Just this will go a long way.
2. During the next few days, pick out a couple of relationships that are
important to you and try to identify two or three things that get in the
way of your listening. Common interferences include: being preoccupied,
trying to do two things at once, having negative thoughts about
the speaker (“He’s always complaining”), not being interested in the
topic, wanting to say something about yourself, wanting to give advice,
wanting to share something similar, being judgmental.
Once you identify two or three of your own bad listening habits,
practice eliminating one of those impediments for a week, but only in
conversations that you decide are important to you.