Remember that I volunteer for my local paper, the Carrboro Citizen, writing mostly about local filmmakers and the occasional business story. So I get a lot of emails from people who just take any address ending in and ask for coverage. (More on the negative impacts of this egregious habit here)

An outtake from the holiday photo shoot by Alicia Stemper.

Wasting your time with the media

Today, I got an email from a comedian asking me to review her show at a local venue. Really? If she'd done any research on me at all, you'd know I don't do reviews, and I don't cover live performances. If she'd even looked at the online version of the paper, she'd also see that we don't do entertainment reviews at all.

Getting more from media outreach

In the amount of time it took her to find my name and write me a note, she could have done enough research to see that my paper and I aren't a good fit. Then she could have quickly started researching other opportunities instead of reading my reply.

Before you send that press release or coverage request, see what the reporter covers and what the paper/station/blog runs in terms of content. You'll end up getting better results for the time you invest.