WMPRSA Event: Meet the Media Round 2

Calling all PR and communications pros! WMPRSA's Meet the Media event has always been one of our most highly attended programs. In this special 2015 Round 2 version, we will welcome the return of our popular speed pitching format.

Throughout the program, participants will meet one-on-one with members of the media during timed speed pitching sessions.

For three minutes, you will have the undivided attention of news directors, editors and reporters from local television and radio stations, daily, weekly and monthly publications and online outlets.

These three-minute meetings go fast - so be prepared, plan your story pitches and maximize your time.

Arrive early to book the coveted appointments. The appointment sign-up sheets will be available at 11 a.m. on a first come, first served basis.

Many members of the West Michigan media have been invited, and we are still working to confirm the list of attendees.

Confirmed Media Include (additional names coming in daily): 

  • Shandra Martinez, Business Reporter - MLive/Grand Rapids Press
  • Joanne Bailey-Boorsma, Arts/Entertainment - MLive/On-The-Town Magazine
  • Bill Herbst, Assignment Manager - WOOD TV-8
  • Diana Willsie, Daybreak Executive Producer - WOOD TV-8
  • Nick LaFave, Evening News Anchor - WZZM TV-13
  • Jennifer Pascua, Co-Host for My West Michigan & Noon News Anchor - WZZM TV-13
  • Steve Zaagman, Reporter & Photographer - WZZM TV-13
  • Michael Martin, Daytime Assignment Editor - WXMI FOX-17
  • Shelley Irwin, Producer/Host - WGVU Radio and WGVU TV
  • Josh Depenbrok, Owner - GRNow.com


Fees: Chapter Members $25 Nonmembers $35 Students $20

When: Thursday November 19, 2015

from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM


Eve at The BOB 20 Monroe NW, 4th Floor Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Click here to register

9 valuable tips when pitching to the media

According to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Labor last year, PR professionals outnumber reporters 4.6 to 1. It’s more important than ever before to do your research and craft a concise pitch that will be of interest to the reporter and their readers. During our March Meet the Media event, we sat down with a few journalists to hear their tips on what PR pros should think about when crafting a pitch.

  1. “Find a local angle, and ask, ‘why would you care?’”
  2. “Know what you want to pitch, and to whom you are pitching.”
  3. “Cut to the chase.”
  4. “Don’t forget to follow up a week out, a day out and the day of the event/news; otherwise it might get lost in the inbox.”
  5. “Know your reporter’s beat.”
  6. “Send to the group email (e.g., news@outlet.com); it’s the best way ensure that someone will see your email.”
  7. “Be prepared when you pitch – you’re the expert.”
  8. “Know the outlet’s deadline and editorial calendar.”
  9. “If you get your story picked up, make the most of it (e.g., share it on Twitter). It will make it much easier to pitch a story the next time.”

You’ve most likely heard most of them before, but they serve a great reminder, saving time and effort for both PR pros and our journalist friends.

A big thank you to all the media participants: Diana Willsie and Dan Boers (WOOD TV 8); Marty Primeau (Grand Rapids Magazine); Leigh Ann Towne, Andrea Shaner and Amanda Stevenson (FOX 17); Anya Zentmeyer (Rapid Growth); Claire Fodell (Newsradio WOOD 1300); Jennifer Pascua and Peter Ross (WZZM TV 13); Shandra Martinez (MLive Media Group); Amy Charles (West Michigan Woman); Josh Depenbrok (GRNow.com); Hilary Farrell (WGVU Radio); Tim Gortsema and Chris Ehrlich (Grand Rapids Business Journal); Rich Tupica (REVUE Magazine); and Molly Rizor (REVUE Magazine).

Don’t miss April’s hot event, The Art of Executive Communications and Speechwriting, to hear from industry experts on writing for executives, from the boardroom to the White House and everywhere in between. [April 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Eve Lounge at The B.O.B.]

Nominate Outstanding Communicators for 2012 PRoof Awards

WMPRSA's PRoof Awards aren't just for campaigns - they're also awarded to exemplary individuals inside (and outside) the profession in five categories (below). To nominate someone for one of these awards, visit this site. Public Relations Professional of the Year

WMPRSA’s Public Relations PRofessional of the Year Award honors the WMPRSA member who represented the best in public relations in 2011. As you prepare your PRoof Award entry and identify its strengths, consider nominating the WMPRSA member whose contributions to the program—or to the profession stand out as outstanding example of the relationship between an organization and the publics it represents.

Communicator of the Year

WMPRSA recognizes a community leader for outstanding contributions to West Michigan and who also exemplifies the practice of good public relations. The WMPRSA Communicator of the Year Award is distinct from all other awards because it is given to a person who is NOT a PRSA member or PR professional, but has shown him or herself to be an accomplished communicator, has communicated well during a crisis, or was an exemplary spokesperson for their organization. Please indicate the context of the nominee’s most significant contribution in 2011 in the narrative.

Media Person of the Year

The Media Person of the Year Award is given to a deserving journalist (print, broadcast, Internet) for outstanding contributions to the field of journalism in the West Michigan area. As you prepare your PRoof Awards, consider the media you worked with throughout your campaign. WMPRSA will recognize that media person during the annual WMPRSA PRoof Awards Gala. Please illustrate the nominee’s accomplishments and most significant contributions to the field of journalism during 2011.

Newcomer of the Year

Only new members in good standing of the West Michigan Chapter of PRSA (having joined during 2011 or 2011) are eligible for this award. The winner must be an active public relations professional of three years or less who has demonstrated potential for becoming an outstanding public relations professional. Please support with examples of the nominee’s experience and efforts during 2011.

Public Relations Student of the Year

WMPRSA’s public Relations Student of the Year Award (also awarded during the April 25 PRoof Awards Celebration) honors the individual PRSSA member who represented the best in public relations during 2011. Consider nominating the intern in your office, the student you’re mentoring or that person whose contributions to advancing the PR profession on campus stand out as exemplary.