Waste Not

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By Lynn Beresford

Want to make inroads with the media? Then listen up: They don't want cumbersome packages, 3-D pop-up press releases and bulky envelopes teeming with color slides and videotapes. In this environmentally conscious era, sending a barrage of unsolicited materials is frequently a good way to turn an editor off.

The best way to get an editor's attention: Find out how they like to receive story ideas, and pitch them that way. Some may like e-mail, others a brief fax, and plenty still prefer letters. "The first rule of good PR is putting yourself in the editor's shoes," says Bronwyn Fryer, a writer specializing in high-tech issues. Fryer should know: She receives so many packages, she's had to hire a professional recycler to cart the stuff away.

What does grab the editorial eye? Fryer says she pays attention to well-written and good-looking press materials.

Editorial distaste of waste applies to the mode of delivery, too. With smart companies striving to cut costs, using overnight delivery to send a press release announcing that your vice president is now senior vice president may brand you a spendthrift.

The bottom line: The more excessive the packaging and delivery, the less likely an editor will look kindly on your cause.

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