Every Monday from 6-9pm MST @PRsarahevans hosts Journchat on Twitter.  One question lead me to write this post.

My answers:

Even though I was going for witty and funny in my first answer, both answers are actually serious.  A press release with a nice goody basket these days definitely helps the event stand out in everyone’s minds as we go into our editorial meetings, but if what you’re trying to get us to cover just doesn’t fit anywhere into our news goals, you probably won’t get coverage.   Crew availability and story content play heavily into the decisions of shoot event for a 20 second spot in the newscast vs shoot an entire package, edit said package, engineer and shoot reporter live shot.

That 20 second shoot may be worth all of the effort to cover the event if it fits into the CBS4 News brand and goals.  If your press release doesn’t show us how it fits the brand, it may be overlooked and not covered.  I won’t lie, I do miss the big, fun, press releases the news desk used to receive, but I hands down I would rather have a tailored pitch that tells me the angle of the story that fits a CBS4 News franchise or the overall brand.

Each station in Denver has its own news goals and identity.   This is true of most television markets.  I know this is even more work for the PR professional who already has to look for and work with many different traditional and Internet media outlets, blogs, for coverage.  If you are able to make a tailored pitch, I believe you would get more coverage.

I often receive pitches where after a while I’m able to see the angle that would make it a relevant story to the producers.  I then pitch the story hitting the angle I see and explain why this story fits.  I admit I don’t have the time to always do this, and I don’t work 24 – 7 so I have no doubt that we have missed out on some great stories.

How can you find out what stations, newspapers, bloggers want in a story?  You need to ask and to research, or hire a company to do this for you.  If you were to contact me or the station news desk, I have no problem answering your questions to explain the different franchises like, Project Green, or to tell you things like, "you won’t find a cooking segment during our morning show."  Research by watching the newscasts and searching the Web site.  You’ll find every franchise listed under different section headings in the column on the left hand side of the site. 

P.S. Yes, I do wish I had caught by spelling error in my journchat answer before I hit enter, before it was ReTweeted, but I didn't and now have to live with it!

P.P.S See the past newscast names and station slogans on WikiPedia.  (Scroll 2/3 down the page.)  In my nine years with the station there have been three newscast names and three station slogans.