File this under the category: So simple as to be profound. Honesty. Tell the truth.

When you or your PR professional are pitching to journalists, show hosts and media producers it is imperative to practice honesty in your delivery. Seems simple enough, right? Just tell the story you want them to pick up and repeat to their spheres of influence. Yet, the leading cause of ‘File-13isms’ is the systematic failure of individuals, PR pros and bloggers to embrace this critical practice.

Reporters hate to be lied to. Every day, they have to screen dozens of pitches loaded with whoppers of every shape and size. And since you need them to leverage your story, it’s important to keep them happy by following these simple steps as you craft your pitches:

1. Avoid HYPE Always – One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from my mentor in public speaking & performance was: “Don’t exaggerate about your accomplishments”. It was solid back in 1988, and it’s solid now. When pitching a story to reporters, never stretch the truth, or use hype words such as “greatest”, or “game-changing”, etc. Most such descriptors are purely subjective, and reporters are really just after the facts. If it can’t be proven, it’s probably not 100% honest.

2. Fully Disclose the Whole Story – Don’t make the mistake of providing only one side of a story if you know that there are other perspectives. Omission is just as bad as outright lying – and if you leave elements out of your story that could surprise a reporter, they might surprise you by simply tossing your pitch.

3. Never, Ever Lie – And finally we conclude with where we started. No matter how badly you want reporters to pick up your story, using falsehoods of any kind is the quickest way to get banned for life. Just tell the truth.

If you wish to be successful gaining the attention and assistance of journalists and media experts, follow the 3 simple rules listed above. Remember, in the world of public relations, it’s all about the relationships you build. Build them on the solid foundation of honesty. It’s your greatest ally.

Eric Reamer is America’s PR Media Coach. With decades of content creation, public speaking, syndicated radio and professional theater experience, he is uniquely qualified to educate PR and media professionals. He is the owner of Niche PR & Media, LLC and the founder of the PR & Media Blueprint MasterClass™.

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