At the April 26 WMPRSA "East Meets West: Detroit Media Roundtable" event, panelists from broadcast and print media offered up advice for public relations professionals eager to pitch stories to reporters, editors and producers from unfamiliar outlets.
Participants encouraged relationship building when pitching stories to media on the other side of the state.
"The more relationships you are able to establish, the better off you'll be," said Kelley Root, Assistant Managing Editor for The Detroit News.
The panel discouraged sending out blanket media releases, especially to large Detroit-area media outlets. Root said that in 2016, it's pretty easy to find out which reporter you should be directing press releases to according to your topic.
Panelists said they are most interested in news from the west side of the state that showcases the innovation and entrepreneurism that is driving out state.
"Things that we can identify in West Michigan that are trendsetting and innovative," said Ted Roelofs, reporter for Bridge Magazine."
Regarding "exclusive" story pitches, panelists seemed to agree that it's not an effective way to entice a journalist anymore. Social media and instant communication allow media outlets to claim an exclusive story on the same topic minutes later.
Jennette Smith, editor at Crain's Detroit Business said that now is a great time to reach out to reporters in the Detroit area because of the recent positive statewide news coming from West Michigan.
"There's a lot of good east-west energy right now."