On Top of PR with Jason Mudd

Improving media relations with guest Ashley Billings and host Jason Mudd

November 09, 2021 Jason Mudd, Axia Public Relations Episode 66
On Top of PR with Jason Mudd
Improving media relations with guest Ashley Billings and host Jason Mudd
Show Notes Transcript

Our episode guest is Ashley Billings, Media Relations Consultant at Axia. Ashley is an award-winning ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC-affiliate TV news reporter in California, Jacksonville, and D.C. Clients love her ability to translate PR messages into TV news stories. She joined Axia in June 2018.

Five things you’ll learn from this episode:

  1. How to get your company’s news on the news
  2. The value of honesty when building relationships with reporters
  3. Why you should be pitching visual stories 
  4. The importance of presentation as an interviewee 
  5. How interesting stories mix qualitative and quantitative data


  • “It helps when the PR professional pitches something very specific – something that the rest of the newsroom doesn't know about.” — @ashleybillings
  • “It loses the impact of being news if everyone knows about it.” — @jasonmudd9
  • “Visuals are very important. Any time a PR firm can share pictures or video, that’s an extra thing to ensure that their story gets on TV.” — @ashleybillings 
  • “If you email everybody, you’re really emailing nobody.” — @jasonmudd9

If you enjoyed this episode, would you please share it with others and leave us a review?

About Ashley Billings

Our episode guest is Ashley Billings, Media Relations Consultant at Axia. Ashley is an award-winning ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC-affiliate TV news reporter in California, Jacksonville, and D.C. Clients love her ability to translate PR messages into TV news stories. She joined Axia in June 2018. A born storyteller, Ashley earned media coverage on all five Orlando TV stations and the two largest Orlando newspapers for her client’s grand reopening. 

Guest’s contact info and resources:

Additional Resources:

Episode recorded: October 7, 2021

Sponsored by:

  • On Top of PR is produced by Axia Public Relations, named by Forbes as one of America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021. Axia is an expert PR firm for national brands.
  • On Top of PR is sponsored by ReviewMaxer, the platform for monitoring, improving, and promoting online customer reviews.
  • Burrelles has a special offer for On Top of PR fans. Check it out at burrelles.com/ontopofpr.

About your host, Jason Mudd

On Top of PR host, Jason Mudd, is a trusted adviser and dynamic strategist for some of America’s most admired brands and fastest-growing companies. Since 1994, he’s worked with American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, and Verizon. He founded Axia Public Relations in July 2002. Forbes named Axia as one of America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/OnTopofPR)

- [Announcer] Welcome to On Top of PR with Jason Mudd, presented by ReviewMaxer.

- Hello and welcome to On Top of PR, I'm your host, Jason Mudd and today I'm joined by my colleague at Axia, Ashley Billings. Ashley is an award-winning ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliate TV news reporter, having worked in California, Jacksonville and DC. Clients at Axia love her ability to translate PR messages into TV news stories and other news stories. She joined Axia in June of 2018 as a news media consultant. Ashley, welcome to the show. We're glad you're here.

- Thank you, Jason, it's great to be here.

- It's great to have you. We've been talking about this for months and it's finally happening, so I'm very excited. We're officially recording today on October 7th for a episode to be released in the near future. But Ashley, we wanna kinda share your experience and smarts with our audience about how TV newsrooms work, how companies and brands can better tell their story or pitch their story to newsrooms and how they can improve their media relations to get their story out there and get their company and their experts featured. Does that sound good to you?

- That sounds great. Since I've worked in TV and I've worked in PR, I'm excited to show how we collaborate together to get our news on TV.

- I love it, I love it. I think you've worked for every major network affiliate it seems like.

- I have. I've crisscrossed the country a few times and it's been a fun adventure. I'm happy to now just be in one place and doing the other side of TV news which is the PR side.

- Yeah, absolutely. Well, and you do a great job with it. So, I'm thrilled to have you today and share what you know with our audience. So, thank you for your hard work and commitment to Axia and our clients and whoever is tuned in today, I hope they take away some key thoughts and learn more about what we do here and improve what they're doing either, maybe they're pitching, you know, their company or maybe they're just trying to figure out how it all works.

- Okay, sounds good.

- So, Ashley, how did you get into TV news?

- Well, I always loved telling stories. So growing up, the only thing actually we were allowed to watch on TV was Sunday night, we could watch TV while we ate dinner on Sunday nights, 'cause 60 Minutes was on and my parents loved watching 60 Minutes, The Today Show every morning. So, I grew up really paying attention to the news and then I loved storytelling, I loved creative writing. So, I got into journalism in middle school and kept on going all through college and always thought if TV news is a possibility, I'll do it, so.

- Nice, that's a great story. I remember my grandfather was like my best buddy when I was a little boy but the only time I felt like we disconnected was if I tried to talk during 60 Minutes, that just wasn't happening. And I couldn't understand 'cause he's my playmate all the other time, but when 60 Minutes was on, I had to be quiet. So.

- Yep.

- But yeah, and then I grew up wanting, I created like a neighborhood newsletter for our street. I got connected to journalism in junior high, middle school and never looked back. So, we have kind of a similar experience there.

- Yeah, I think it's in your blood, it's something you grow up with and it's addicting. Once you get into news, you really, it's something that stays with you.

- So, walk through the average person, which, you know, and probably the average audience for On Top of PR, probably has never been inside a TV newsroom before and maybe for good reason, 'cause they've never worked in journalism or they haven't been, you know, in studio for an interview or something like that. Kind of explain the daily miracle and the chaos that happens in a TV newsroom for us.

- Well, if it's a breaking news day, there's a lot of action, a lot going on. On a typical day, we go in in the morning and we have a news editorial meeting where every reporter is gonna come in and pitch ideas. So, these are ideas that oftentimes we'll get from a PR professional, it's stuff going on in the community and we'll discuss it and then we'll leave the newsroom with an assignment or two for the day and we'll go out and make calls, line up those interviews, write our news story, go live every night. So, every day we're producing at least one news story. Inside the newsroom there's an assignment desk and that assignment desk is like the engine of the newsroom that keeps it going. They're taking calls, they're paying attention to the police scanners, to everything that's going on throughout the day and making sure that reporters and photographers are headed out to whatever might be happening.

- Boy, there's a lot to unpack there. So, I'm glad that, you know, we talked about that. So, you know, let's start with, you said the morning meeting and something that stood out to me is you said the reporters are pitching stories. And the irony there is that PR people are pitching those reporter stories then those reporters are pitching the stories to their editors and so a lot of times that's one thing I think that makes you and other colleagues here at Axia really good is they've gotten that experience of having to pitch editors or pitch assignment desk, so we know what those reporters need to be equipped with and what they need to be able to make a good pitch. So, we're pitching them, basically to empower them and equip them and persuade them to pitch their supervisors on a story.

- Yeah exactly and it's important that the reporters bring in a strong story angle. So, it helps when the PR professional pitches something very specific, something that the rest of the newsroom won't know about. So, if they just send it an email to the entire newsroom and everybody pitches it, chances are it's probably not gonna get picked up on by one reporter, they're gonna send maybe a photographer to get some video if it's an event, it won't get as much airtime as it will. If you really focus on one reporter and pitch them a strong story, something that they can take to the assignment desk and say, I really believe that this is something we should cover today.

- For sure, that's very good and, again, a lot of things you shared there that I want us to dive into. So, let's start with, you know, I'm sure it looks bad for a reporter to come to this morning pitch meeting empty-handed, so should you always have, how many stories should someone bring to that pitch meeting?

- Well, ideally I'd say three to five story ideas. Stuff that's turnable that day that you can go out and actually do. There are days where it's a very slow news day and so that's when it's good to have some of those evergreen stories that if you're pitching something that can be done at any time, a PR professional, if you're pitching something that's, not necessarily has to be done today but it's something that the reporter can keep in their back pocket. That's always a good thing for them to have for that slow news day.

- Three to five stories. See, I thought you just had to have one but I'm with you because if they come up with an idea and it gets killed, then they've gotta, you know, not just justify what they're gonna do for the day but have something else and you know, I've been in situations where I've pitched a reporter, they've gone to this pitch meeting, pitched the story I recommended and the assignment, editor said, yeah, that sounds good. Why doesn't this person do that and you do something else. And then it's like, oh, I gotta brief somebody else on a story but at the end of the day, the story was good enough to get picked up and I think that's what's important.

- Exactly, that is.

- And let's talk about how do you make a story visual too, 'cause when you're pitching TV newsroom and even print and online now are very focused on visual. So, actually what are some of the secrets of the trade to turn a story into visual that might not immediately sound visual? And then I'll have a follow-up question for you.

- I think it's... Are you speaking from the side of the TV news side or from if you are someone pitching the TV reporter.

- I think at the end of the day, talk about the importance of visuals first.

- Well, if it's gonna be on TV, it needs to have some strong visuals. Nobody wants wallpaper video of, you know, a courtroom. If it's a courtroom story, you don't want something, just a bunch of people sitting inside and pictures of a judge. You wanna show what that crime or whatever they're talking about in that courtroom, you want video of that, of what happened outside of the courtroom. So, the visuals are very important and any time a PR firm can share anything from their client, any sort of pictures, video, that's just an extra thing that will ensure that that gets on TV. That that story gets on TV.

- Okay, perfect. And so, when you're thinking, tell PR marketing professionals, how do you develop the habit or the talent for thinking visually?

- Well, I think it starts with finding one focus, one strong pitch idea, one topic and thinking it through that way, telling a story. You wanna tell a story through your pitch, through somebody's eyes. It might be a person that you're pitching instead of just a big company. You find that one person that's got a really great story to tell and then you visualize, how can we tell it through that person's eyes? What can we show that person doing on a day-to-day basis that makes them the right person for the story or the right story.

- Okay and speaking of like a spokesperson or someone you're gonna interview, what traits does a good interviewee have as far as how they present themselves visually.

- I would say, the traits they have, so the person needs to be presentable. Of course, they need to be able to speak in soundbites if possible, so keep things brief but to the point and have something compelling to say, show emotion, that's really important that we can show the human side of any story, why people should care, that kind of a thing.

- And what about hand movements and gestures and things like that? Is that bad, is that good? What's your preference there?

- I think talking with your hands, it makes me feel like I can get the point across more when I do use my hands, so I think that's okay. Something I'm reminding myself right now, I have a chair that moves. If you're sitting, being interviewed, you don't wanna, you're nervous, you don't wanna be doing this and I saw that a lot when I worked in TV news and it just was so distracting. So, there are little things like that and the reporter will usually tell you, make sure you do these three things in order to make the picture look good, the video look good.

- I can't resist but mention during the pandemic one of our clients was on a panel of four CEOs and our client was the only CEO who wasn't in a swivel chair during the interview. Our client was the only CEO who was wearing a shirt and tie, you know, and one tech CEO was wearing a T-shirt and you know, he looked the best, he sounded the best, he was in the best setup and I just, you know, literally was patting ourselves on the back because he looked so much better than everybody else and looked like a guy you wanna do business with because he was buttoned up, he was polished and he just did a great job. So, yeah, I love that, Ashley. So, you mentioned pitching a reporter, you mentioned the assignment desk, who do you really wanna end up pitching at the end of the day to make sure your story gets covered?

- I think if you can develop relationships with certain reporters, that's going to make the difference in the long-term of getting your stories picked up and the way to establish a relationship with a reporter and you can do this, if it's a newspaper reporter, a TV reporter, think about your client. If your client is a restaurant group, let's find a reporter, maybe a lifestyle reporter for the local newspaper or a consumer reporter on TV and start following them on social media, start engaging with them, comment on their stories that are online. If they post something on Facebook, a story there, comment on why you like that story and start building that relationship so that when you call them up down the road and you have something you really want them to cover, they are more willing, they're gonna remember you, they're gonna trust you and they're more likely to put your story on the news that day.

- Ashley, I love that. And that's one thing I actually tell our clients about and our potential clients quite a bit is when something comes across their desk that has our name on it, Axia, I like to think, and reporters and newsrooms have told us, they always give our stuff a second look because of the relationship and reputation we've built with them is always bringing them good stories and so we might have a story that they're on the fence about but because of our relationship, they might go ahead and do it because they wanna stay in a good relationship with us because if all things are neutral, they know that we're gonna bring a credible source, we're gonna lend them, you know, we're gonna be helpful to them. Is that true or am I just drinking my own Kool-Aid actually?

- Yeah, I think it's very important to have a strong relationship and know that you can trust that person if you call them, you know, a lot of times I remember working with you in Jacksonville when I was a reporter there, it would be seven o'clock at night, I'd be working the nightside shift and I need an expert to discuss a certain topic and I knew that I could call you no matter what time of day it was, you would make yourself available or someone available and that I could trust that you would have that flexibility with me. I think that's important, I think it's important to always honor what you say, be honest with the reporter, because you don't wanna burn any bridges 'cause chances are, you guys will come in contact sometime down the road.

- Yeah, that's good and now we work together. So, that kinda speaks to having those relationships and you never know where they're gonna land at the end of the day. Ashley, with that, let's take a quick break. We'll come back on the other side with more with Ashley Billings, talking about media relations, getting earned media coverage and newsrooms, including television and beyond.

- [Announcer] You're listening to On Top of PR with your host, Jason Mudd. Jason is a trusted advisor to some of America's most admired and fastest growing brands. He is the managing partner at Axia Public Relations, a PR agency that guides news, social and web strategies for national companies. And now back to the show.

- Hello and welcome back to On Top of PR, I'm your host, Jason Mudd with Axia Public Relations and speaking of Axia Public Relations, we're joined today by Ashley Billings. Ashley, welcome back.

- Thank you.

- Ashley is a new strategist with Axia and she is fabulous and she's been working with us since June of 2018. She's based in Orlando, takes care of our clients that are there and helps them get their story told on the news and that's what we're exploring today. So, Ashley you mentioned earlier, there's like a generic email address that you can send. It's usually [email protected] and then the domain of that news organization. And I know you and I have lamented and talked about this but I hate those email addresses. And because I know I would hate it if I was a recipient of those and what most people may not realize, maybe they do, is that those emails go to every single person in the newsroom. So, if there's 20 reporters, 40 reporters, five reporters, 10 reporters, every reporter gets it unless they've managed a way to opt out of it as do often producers and assignment desk. And so I always say, if you email everybody, you're really emailing nobody because as you said earlier, which I thought was a great tip, you wanna actually give that reporter something unique that no one else has so they can stand out and so that their topic gets covered. Did you like getting those emails, Ashley?

- No, there were many embarrassing moments in the newsroom when you thought you had a great pitch, you saw the email come through and a lot of times you didn't even realize it was something that went to the entire newsroom, so you just thought you got a great pitch that day and you go into your editorial meeting and you discuss it and then they'd say, hey, somebody in our morning meeting already pitched that and you realize, oh no, this has already been discussed, this has already been disseminated to everyone and chances are, it usually doesn't get picked up that way. So, it's really important to try to just find one reporter that you can pitch to always.

- Well, and I know when I've had to call and pitch something, the person said, oh, well just send it to [email protected] the name of our, you know, news platform.com and I'm like, no, I'm not gonna send it there and they're like, well, that's what we do and I'm like, no, I wanna send it to you because I talked to you about it, I want you to have access to this, I want you to advocate for it. You know, I wanna build a relationship with you and usually they're like, hey, thanks that, you know, they understand why I'm trying to say. There's some people who are rule followers, like, oh no, you have to send it there and I'm like, fine, I'll just take it somewhere else, you know, because I know sending it to that group, isn't gonna be that helpful anyway, in the first place.

- Yeah, it's just not an effective way of pitching and it'll waste your pitch, so.

- Yeah, I agree. The other thing I think about TV newsrooms and correct me If I'm wrong, but you know, things are happening everywhere and I feel like if they've heard the story and multiple people have seen it, it kinda isn't as fresh, it's a little bit stale, everybody knows it already, so it loses that impact of being news if everyone knows about it. Do you agree with that?

- Yeah, exactly. It needs to be something unique that only one person is gonna bring to that room that day.

- One thing I've also noticed is if you give, and I hate to say this, but I think it's true. If you give a TV newsroom too much notice on a new story, it kinda loses the sizzle.

- Yeah, I mean, TV news is all about what's happening right now.

- Right.

- So yeah, they want it to be something immediate. This is not something that was in the past or is we can cover it in the future. They'll put it in their file and say, we'll cover it another day when it's a slower day.

- Yeah, I think, you know, like I've had situations where I know an event is happening on the 18th, but I don't wanna pitch it on the first because then they've had 18 days for it to kind of marinade and they're like, eh, I'm not as excited about it as I was the day you pitched me. And I've only been accused maybe twice by sports reporters who have said, I wish you would have given us more notice, we have other things going on but otherwise I feel like if I give too much notice, it just loses its luster.

- Yeah, it's a tricky thing and that's why if you do have a relationship with one reporter, then you can talk about it, then send them some information later and kinda work them up until the point when it's actually happening.

- So, the assignment desk, the assignment editor, they've got some kind of priority list of the topics that they're gonna cover for the day, in print journalism that's often called the daily budget. And you know, people say, well, why is it called a budget, they're not spending money? But it's a budget of resources. You know, here are the top stories that we're gonna cover today, here's who's covering them and then who else do we have available to cover other things. Is it called a budget in a TV newsroom?

- It has been, gosh, about six years or so since I've worked in a newsroom, so I'm trying and I don't know how it slipped my mind but I can't think of what we called it in the newsroom. So, I apologize. I can't remember that

- Just interrupt us and tell us what it was.

- I can't remember that but yeah, there is something though that we, every day, we look at and there's always something in there.

- Maybe they just call it the list but I know when I've pitched an editor, they're like, oh yeah, that story is on the list and most PR people will be timid and say, oh okay, thank you but I don't stop there, I say, okay, where on the list is it? You know and so I ask them, you know, is it number three, number five, number one, number 15? So, I can kinda set expectations for myself, our team and the client, you know, if they tell me, yeah, it's number 15 on the list. Well, guess what client, they're probably not coming, right. They don't have 15 crews to be able to come out and do it. But if they tell me you're number three, then I'm like, okay, now we've got something to work with. The other question I've learned to ask though is if we're number five on the list, okay, how long is the list? 'Cause if we're number five and the list is five, or the list is six, then we know other things can start popping up that are breaking news and we might lose our chance.

- Exactly, and a lot of times they'll say this is gonna be a VO for the day or a VO-sot, which is a video or a video over sound. But what you want is the package. If you are a PR person, you want your story to be a packaged story, which means the reporter's gonna go out and give you a good minute and a half or so to tell your story and so it does make a difference how they decide what kind of resources they're gonna give to that story that day.

- I'm so glad you brought that up because I think sometimes companies have this misunderstanding that they're gonna be on the 30-minute TV show for 20 minutes.

- Yeah.

- Right and so then they're like, we were only on for four minutes and I'm like four minutes out of a 30-minute, fast-paced TV news show, that's amazing, like, you know, we should be talking bonuses here not disappointment, right?

- Exactly. No, everything's very brief and that's because people's attention span is only so long, so you can't put something, it's not a newspaper where they can give a lot more detail. It's pretty brief and people like that, that's why they watch the local news.

- And I wanna just circle back to something you said earlier, which is about trust, right? I mean, you're building a relationship. The worst thing PR people or companies can do is puff up or build up a brand or a spokesperson more than they really are because, you know, one thing people, I guess don't realize is that reporters and journalists, if they're any good, are also kind of novice researchers and so if they can find something out in a few minutes that you're hoping they don't find out or you're telling them something that you hope they don't discover, odds are they're probably gonna discover it. You might get away with it for a few times but the one time you don't can haunt you for years to come.

- Yeah, I mean of course you wanna be able to control the message if you're working on the PR side and that's the beauty of PR of controlling the message that you wanna send but it doesn't help to hide any information that could come out in the public later because yeah, reporters are a lot of times invested. That's their job, they're supposed to dig for news, dig for information every day. And the more interesting that little tidbit of information is, the more likely they're gonna use that in a story.

- Let's talk for just a minute about morning shows, you know, pre-pandemic morning shows we're allowing guests to come in studio and do, you know, in studio interviews, which were great. Those are typically where you see a four-minute story instead of a 30-second story and your expert really has a chance to answer questions and dive into the topic a little bit. During the pandemic, a lot of those interviews went through Zoom and they were doing conversations like this, which are great and apparently I'm told those are here to stay in some element of that because now a local TV station now has the resource to interview an expert who's located in another country or located in another city or state and when that expert can provide some expertise that's valuable to the local audience, that's pretty awesome too. But you know, if you're invited to be a guest in a newsroom, you know, for a morning show or otherwise, what are some tips you might give?

- Well, do you mean if they're actually gonna go inside the studio and be interviewed or both on Zoom and in studio?

- Let's talk about in studio.

- Okay. In studio, well you wanna obviously appear professional-looking or dress the part. If you are a veterinarian, then you can come in your scrubs and dress as the expert. If you're the expert, dress how an expert would dress for that position, for that job that you're discussing and come in early so that they have time to do their microphone check, make sure that you're comfortable, you're ready and expect to not know the questions that you're gonna be asked because it's rare that you will ever know which questions are gonna come up. It's usually just an anchor having a conversation with you. It's fine to give them some talking points if you'd like, some things that you would feel most comfortable discussing but just be ready for any question that might come up and again, keep it brief, keep it simple. Talk for your audience, which is not an expert on the topic that you're discussing. So, you need to keep it simple enough that anyone can understand, anyone watching the news, a child or an older person.

- You've made some very good points and I think it all comes down to expectations, right. I've had clients show up with too many people for an interview, right and where there's a crowd of people from their company to watch the interview and that's what it's not is, you know, it's not a spectation or a sport. You know, they want one expert there. They want you early in case they need to bump you up or you know, whatever. I've also had clients say, you know, gosh, they just put me in a room, no one talked to me and next thing you know, they shuffled me in to the studio, they shuffled me out and it's like, yeah, 'cause they've got other things going on and they don't have a budget to have somebody there to be, you know, like your PR person or whatever. So, we try to, you know, sometimes accompany the client. The other thing I think people misunderstand is they think they're gonna go into a special room and there's gonna be a hair and makeup artist waiting to touch them up and make them look great and then shoo them into the room and it's just not like that, right?

- No, no in TV news, that's a big misconception. The TV people do their own makeup and hair, unless you're big time on network news, but yeah, you need to prepare ahead of time and come presentable and you can always bring visuals, ask them if you can bring visuals to show off. I know when we've pitched, one of my clients was a pawn store group and so we did a back-to-school shopping segment which you wouldn't normally think about doing at a pawn store, back-to-school shopping but we said, hey, here are the things that you can find at a discounted price. And they brought in some visuals like a musical instrument to show off on the morning show, calculators, that kind of a thing. So, that's always helpful too. So, it's not just talking heads during the interview.

- Yeah, I love that. We once had a client go on a national TV show and, you know, I hate to say this, but he's kind of that stereotypical New Yorker and he rolled in like 45 minutes late and, you know, whatever and the TV show just said, hey, we bumped you to this and wish you the best, you know? And then he called me and he was like, I didn't know if I was gonna be late they weren't gonna include me and I was like, I didn't know you thought being late was gonna be an option, you know? And so, I had to explain to them that, you know, not only is it gonna be harder to get him back on that program and other programs but now our agency has to overcome that relationship issue as well.

- And that's what media relations, what we can do to help our client is prepare them, fully prepare them for what to expect when they do go and do an interview so that they know what they're walking into and they don't make any bad mistakes that are gonna prevent them from getting their company news on TV.

- Yeah, yeah. I'm gonna ask you, we have to wrap up, we've run our time, this has been a lot of fun. I wanna ask you to kinda think of any closing tips you might share and in the interim, while you're doing that, I'm gonna mention that on our website, we've got an ebook about media relations and how to work with the media and how to pitch the media. I'd encourage anybody who's listening or watching this episode, who's enjoyed what we're talking about, who has learned something from this episode, you're gonna learn even more by checking out that ebook and you can find that at axiapr.com/resources and in the episode notes, we'll be sure to put a link specifically to that exact ebook so that you can check that out. We also have webinars about media relations and other content. So, Ashley, any closing thoughts and recommendations.

- Yeah, I think something that can always translate in a pitch is showing the economic value of any pitch. Anytime you can give numbers, hey, this is gonna create jobs, this is going to put X amount of money into the local community. Things like that can make your pitch stronger and get the attention of a reporter. That's something that I was always asked when I pitched stories was what is this gonna do for, why does this matter? Why does this matter to the city, to the community? And that's something that can bring value to a story.

- That's a really good tip, thank you for bringing that. I'm gonna yes and that, and say, one of the challenges is private corporations don't wanna talk about financials and things like that but I tell them that's what makes them a more interesting news story and so if you're moving into a new office, how many square feet, you know, how long did you sign the lease for? Are you willing to disclose what you're paying per square foot? You know, and maybe that part's not as interesting, but it's just developing the qualitative and quantitative data to help show the scale and the impact of the news story. And so, oh, you're hiring, well, how many people are you hiring? What's the average wage? What's the range of wage? You know, what are the level of positions? What are the criteria for the jobs? So, just getting more specific and, you know, another client, company might say, oh well, we're growing at a rate of 30% year-over-year. Okay, well what does that look like? Are you a $100,000 a year company or are you a billion dollar company? Because that's impactful as well. And I respect that private corporations' financials are private but if they wanna get the level of media coverage that public companies get, then they have to be willing to be flexible and share some credible information to help, you know, share what their company is. But as we talked about earlier, right, they have to do it honestly, they can't exaggerate those numbers. A true story as I had a CEO interviewing with a national business magazine and he inflated the number of employees they had by like two X. Then he went on a vacation and the reporter called the human resource department to confirm the number of employees, because it had been a month since that interview happened and the reporter rightfully kind of gathered that they're probably even more employees at the rate that company was growing. And the HRO person, chief, or excuse me, chief human resources officer was like, we don't have that many employees and guess what? That story never ran and we had to do so much work to rehabilitate that relationship, you know, whatever. And so, to your point earlier, it's about relationships, it's about trust and credibility.

- Yeah, exactly.

- Ashley, this has been a lot of fun, our time flew by. I thank you for being here and if our audience wants to connect with you, I'm assuming LinkedIn is a great way to do that and if they ask nicely, we'll give them your email address. Does that sound good?

- Thank you, that sounds great. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today about this topic.

- Ashley, it's been a pleasure to work with you all these years, both on the TV side of things, and now the Axia side of things and I look forward to us working together for a long time.

- Me too, thanks Jason.

- Thank you, be well.

- Thanks.

- Well, that's been another episode of On Top of PR. I love the energy and exchange that Ashley and I had today to share with you our passion, enthusiasm, and experience working with newsrooms. Ashley's background is very focused in television and I think in today's world that's even more relevant because print is an online and radio are all thinking, you know, either visually or how do you use sound to create a visual in someone's mindset and so there's really no longer this division between traditional TV and print, because print's trying to do more TV, TV's doing more web and so at the end of the day, these are really good lessons learned that you can take back to your team and learn how to pitch the media better and build stronger relationships with the news media. If you've found value in this conversation, I hope you'll share it with one of your colleagues and turn them on, and they'll thank you for helping them stay On Top of PR. And with that, I'm your host, Jason Mudd signing off. Thank you for watching today.

- [Announcer] This has been on top of PR with Jason Mudd, presented by ReviewMaxer. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode and check out past shows at ontopofpr.com.