I had the pleasure of having dinner with Dalia Colon, staff writer with tbt* and St. Pete Times and freelance writer for various publications, during our PR co-op meeting for Savor the Success. Dalia presented some helpful hints about getting stories into the tbt* and St. Pete Times and the best mode of getting the information to her.

Here are some tips:

1) Even if you make a phone call to a reporter, be prepared to follow-up in writing via e-mail with relevant and pertinent information.

2) Submit possible story angles, however, you don’t have to come up with the questions or submit answers to imaginary questions that haven’t been asked. This is the reporter’s job and they will ask questions relevant to their story.

3) Research whom your story pitch should go to so that it actually has a chance of being featured in the publication. If you send your pitch to the incorrect reporter, many of them (who are marvelous like Dalia) will still forward them on to the appropriate colleagues. However, reporters are busy researching for their stories and are typically inundated with story pitches and press releases. You’re helping them if you’re able to pitch your idea to the correct contact.

4) Don’t forget about an opportunity to be online and consider pitching to the publication’s blog outlets. Both the St. Pete Times and tbt* have several blog options: Deal Divas, Whoa, Momma!, Bizarre Florida and more. The publication blogs are viable and reputable options to garner coverage for your business or yourself.

For more information on how to get your story, business, etc. in the St. Petersburg Times or tbt*, check out: A Guide To Getting Your News into the St. Petersburg Times.

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