Building Media Relationships
Public relations becomes a difficult concept when the media is unwilling or unmotivated to work with your company, much less feature it prominently. Rather than repeatedly delivering pitches to journalists who do not know you, it is best to have standing credibility with certain publications or individuals. Read on for these tips about how to build relationships with the media.
1. Read the Publication/Watch the Broadcast
Journalists receive dozens of pitch emails everyday that are useless to them because it is irrelevant to the topics that they write about. By reading the journalists’s work, you will know the most appropriate person to send your piece to when that situation arises. Tailor the content to their style or the things you know they like to write about. Reading their work also shows support and effort on your part.
2. Distribute the Publication
Most journalists are active on social media. Most likely, they write online in addition for print. After you find them on all of their outlets, follow them. This also makes it easy to share their posts, boosting morale. By sharing their content, you are essentially stating, “This is a valid point.”
3. Interact with the Journalists
This can be done on social media and more importantly, in person. Of course, this may not always be possible, but face to face interaction is much more powerful than email communication. Attend local events that you know the media will be attending. This still takes research, because if you do have the opportunity to speak to the journalist, you will want to make sure that you say the right things.
4. Make Your Resources Known
Help them help you. If your pitch drew on information that was sourced elsewhere, make that source easily accessible to the media reporter. You can offer your sources and your connections to the media if you know that they will find it helpful. Once again, it all boils down to sufficient research of the reporter and the publication.
5. Work with Their Schedule
By learning when their deadlines are, you will know the best time to send them your piece. Journalists are very busy and by bothering them at the wrong time, such as when they are about to go to press, you will automatically be overlooked. Do not expect them to go out of their way for you or make exceptions. Provide things in advance. Timing is everything.
6. Give Them What They Want
What are the current trends? By staying current with what is being talked about, you will know with what angle to approach your “news.” Consider how you could have more of an edge by tweaking your content to the preferences of the media. Your press release or news story will have a far better chance of being aired or printed.
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