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Eric Hill, EVP, MyEdCals
Please describe MyEdCal's work.
EH: MyEdcals delivers a comprehensive database of editorial calendars. Our clients use a Google-like search engine to find instant, up-to-date information on story opportunities, publications, editors, deadline dates, and publication dates from thousands of publications in the US and Canada.
MyEdcals offers two software editions: Standard and Enterprise. The Standard edition is ideal for publicists on a tight budget while the Enterprise edition includes collaboration software, Microsoft Outlook calendar integration and Custom Research by the MyEdcals research team.
What sort of research do you do?
EH: The MyEdcals research team compiles and publishes editorial calendars from over 6,000 publications in the United States and Canada. Publications are changing their editorial calendars at much a higher rate than just a few years ago. We research and update our database every single business day, throughout the year. In addition we have relationships with leading publishers who directly feed data into MyEdcals.
Furthermore, MyEdcals offers custom research whereby a client will have direct access to our expert researchers. Projects range from updating an outdated or inaccurate media lists to news monitoring/analysis and developing customized editorial calendar lists.
Media relations is key to a PR pro's job. Do you have tips for improving media relations skills?
EH: In my view, media relations is akin to sales. In order to maximize your daily efforts I suggest concentrating on the following:
Do your research: Understand the publication's focus and the journalist's beat. Review your target publication's editorial calendars and see if there is fit for your client. If you can tie a pending editorial calendar opportunity together with your client's area of expertise, you will have a far greater chance of receiving coverage.
Be there: A good sales person is always there for their clients. The best sales people are viewed as a trusted source. Treat journalists as your clients and be there for them in the good times and, most important, in bad times. By doing so, you will earn their trust and respect.
Too often, the only time journalists will hear from a publicists is when they are trying to get coverage. It's like the software company that only calls you when your contract is up for renewal. Where were you all that time? Build trust and confidence with key journalists by staying in touch and understanding what they are working on. You might have a connection or idea unrelated to your company that would be ideal for this journalist. This kind of communication and collaboration can only lead to better things.
Avoid...: Don't fall for the "spray and prey" method by using a media database to blast emails to anyone remotely connected with your client. You will only damage your company's reputation as well as your own. How long before the journalist creates a filter with your company's domain name?