When Hassan Whiteside writes his memoir, the title could be “More Than One Way to Reach the Top.”
The pro basketball player has drifted around in China, Lebanon and the NBA developmental league. A few months ago, you could even find Whiteside practicing his jumper at the Charlotte downtown YMCA.
Then on January 25, Whiteside’s effort paid off as he found himself on the Miami Heat in a game against the Chicago Bulls. Not only did Whiteside play, but the 7-footer earned a triple double of 14 points, 13 rebounds and a team-record 12 blocks. Watch the highlights here.
Whiteside’s quote in the NY Post: “It’s a blessing. Like I told my teammates, you won’t believe how things work out in life.”
Oh, I believe it. Hard work can take us anywhere. But sometimes, like a stop in Lebanon and the YMCA, we need a creative approach to reach the summit.
The Networking Email Journalists Love but No One Ever Sends
Do you want a journalist or blogger to write about you or your company? Of course. Who wouldn’t want free publicity? You can send a press release and hope for the best OR you can, like Hassan Whiteside, take the unconventional route.
Compliment a journalist out of the blue on a job well done.
No, not with a Twitter retweet or “favorite.” An actual, personal message.
- It’s a nice thing to do, and people love praise.
- A compliment on an article or column is a great way to build rapport with someone who could cover your business/tell your story at a later date.
The key with the friendly email: do not promote yourself or your business. Make the email 100% about the other person so the journalist/blogger won’t think, “Oh, he just sent me an email so I’ll write about him.”
Be selfless. Life has a funny way of returning the favor.
Hi [first name of the writer],
My name is [your first and last name], and I enjoyed your recent article/column in [name of the publication] called [named of the article and link to it]. [Then, explain why you liked it; for instance, “I thought you painted such a colorful picture of Bill Stevens and told his story perfectly.”]
[Then, reference a specific line or two from the story; for instance, “I really love this line: ‘Bill Stevens had a heart the size of Nelson County and a smile that lit up a room.’ What a terrific way to capture his life and legacy.”]
Keep up the good work, and thanks again for your efforts.
– Your first name
Four points to consider:
- Link directly to the article/column so the writer knows the piece you reference.
- Copy and paste a line from the story to show you internalized the person’s writing.
- Leave your email signature at the bottom but don’t speak to it or make a business pitch. Reporters are curious folk. The person might respond with “Thanks so much. Tell me more about what you do.” Or the reporter might say “Thanks” and not ask at all. Either way, don’t bring up your business unless the reporter prompts you.
- For bonus points, “cc” the editor of the publication or website so the journalist’s boss knows how well he/she did.
Journalists are people too. Give praise, make a friend and develop a relationship over time. The coverage you seek is closer than you think.
Can’t get enough? Here are more email templates!
- 5 Email Templates to Help You Build Business Relationships
- 3 Powerful Thank-You Notes You Can Write in Under 30 Seconds
- The Job Search Email That Impresses the Hell Out of People
Danny Rubin is a media strategist and the managing editor of News To Live By™, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. A former TV reporter, he’s always looking for ways to apply the news to our own lives. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.