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Can I Quote You on That? 5 Quotes to Better Hone Your Own Quotability

Have you ever wondered why certain reporters and media outlets tend to quote the same individuals time and time again? There are numerous reasons, but a key one lies in quotability. “A quotation in a speech, article or book is like a rifle in the hands of an infantryman. It speaks with authority.” – Brendan Behan, Irish poet In other words, landing a quote in a reputable media outlet provides a business with immediate credibility and authority. If you’re quoted by a reporter, it shows readers, viewers and potential customers that you’re someone whose opinion matters. It establishes your reputation as a thought leader in your industry or field. To enhance your chances of being quoted by the media, it is critical to work on becoming quotable —...

9 Things You'll Never Hear a Reporter Say

Understanding how journalists think and act plays a critical role in media outreach efforts and becoming a go-to source. The first step toward this understanding entails learning how journalists operate and why they say the things they do — or in some cases, what you’ll never hear them say: "I'll take your word for it." No, they really won’t. A healthy sense of skepticism is an inherently reporter trait succinctly summed up in the journalistic adage, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” Be ready to back up any claims you make about your business. The more specific, the better. It’s easy to say business is good — but how good? Becoming a go-to source is a matter of building trust, and one way...

What not to say during a media interview

A media interview is a lot like a date. It’s where you begin the process of building a relationship — only with a reporter instead of a would-be beau or bae. Like dating, the success of a media interview is as much about what you say as it is about what you don’t say. While it is important to be honest and open while staying on message and providing valuable insight for a journalist, there are some things you want to steer clear of during an interview. Can I review your article before it publishes? A journalist’s job is to provide fair and objective news coverage. Allowing any source to review an article prior to publication would put that objectivity at risk. While some journalists at certain...

The Newsworthiness Sweet Spot

Newsworthy is a word that means different things to different people. But simply put, it means something of interest. But of interest to whom? Therein lies the struggle for businesses when trying to land media coverage. Every business has a story to tell, but the truth is not everything that’s of interest to a business is of interest to a journalist. But there is a way to bridge this gap. To do so, it comes down to identifying stories of interest inside your business that also meet the specific needs of journalists. The Newsworthy Sweet Spot When it comes to landing media coverage, there are two types of outlets: mass media (New York Times, Arizona Republic, NPR, Fox News, etc.) and trade media (Nation’s Restaurant News, Modern Healthcare,...

We are thrilled to announce the recipient of the first annual Aker Ink Scholarship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication – Brielle McDougall. Hailing from Canada, the $1,000 scholarship will help Brielle ease college costs and focus further on studies. Upon graduation, Brielle says she hopes to work as an in-house public relations professional and ultimately launch her own boutique PR firm on the West Coast. Brielle and other scholarship recipients were honored at the Cronkite School’s Scholarship Celebration Brunch on Friday, March 22. Numerous students shared their experience at the school, as well as the impact donors have made on their lives and budding careers. Aker Ink President Andrea Aker launched the Aker Ink Scholarship last year. It’s awarded to a...

In the nonprofit world, an organization’s sustainability is linked to community support and awareness. Yet with limited budgets and resources, achieving widespread awareness can be challenging. Andrea Aker recently presented to a group of Valley nonprofit leaders about the fundamentals of media relations, offering guidance on story identification, the concept of “newsworthiness,” outreach tips and proven strategies for building long-term relationships. “Telling Your Story Through Media” was part of the Full Circle Accelerator Program, hosted by Social Venture Partners Arizona, which aims to educate, engage and mentor hand-picked nonprofit leaders in the Phoenix area over the course of a year. They gain access to numerous workshops and trainings spanning strategy mapping, financial diversification planning, communications and more.   Andrea is a long-term partner and philanthropist with SVP Arizona,...

In an age where facts and fiction easily blur and politics continue to divide the country, an exemplary, unbiased journalism community is of utmost importance. This was at the core of Anderson Cooper’s message as he accepted the Cronkite Award at the 35th annual Cronkite Luncheon, hosted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. Cooper discussed the immense responsibility he feels when telling peoples’ stories, whether he is covering natural disasters, wars, presidential elections and beyond. He explains that journalism is an immensely important profession – so much so that it is protected in our Constitution. Here are our key takeaways from Cooper’s speech: Reporting the news is a team effort. Producers, engineers, camera operators and the other people behind the scenes...

Media relations is a central component of a public relations campaign. Educated and savvy sources can determine just how successful that campaign is – they can bolster it by providing thoughtful and timely insights during an interview, or they drive it into the ground with impractical demands and a one-sided perspective. The most effective reporter-source relationships are symbiotic. The reporter gets advice, background and expertise that’s critical for churning out an objective and credible story. The source gets third-party validation of his/her expertise, as well as broadened awareness of a brand, service or product. To foster this symbiotic relationship and become a go-to resource, sources need to come to the table with realistic expectations and take care to understand the reporter’s point of view. As a source,...

With much pride and joy, I’m excited to announce I have launched an annual scholarship for students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Starting in 2018, the $1,000 Aker Ink Scholarship will be awarded to a sophomore, junior or senior who studies journalism or public relations, maintains good grades and is active in the community or extra-curricular activities. The idea has been brewing for several years as a way to pay it forward, showing appreciation and gratitude for the gifts I received as I pursued a career in journalism. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Arizona with the help of numerous scholarships from the school and Corporate America, and a Master of Mass Communications...

In order to conduct media outreach effectively, it’s essential to build meaningful relationships with reporters. As with any relationship, there is a give-and-take aspect. You shouldn’t ignore the reporter’s interests and needs as you seek to accomplish your own goals. Journalists are just as busy, if not busier, than you are. They also receive hundreds of emails each day from companies looking for coverage, the majority of which are untargeted and self-serving. Reporters have become more vocal about the habits that get on their nerves when working with sources and inexperienced PR teams. The following issues tend to be universal: Not respecting their time Media relations is a two-way street. Respecting a reporter’s time is a key building block for strong media relationships. Reporters work on tight deadlines and...