Building Reporter Relationships

May 6, 2014

Last week, we talked about five ways to nail your pitch to bloggers and reporters. One of the key points, number one in fact, was building reporter relationships. Making connections with those to whom you are pitching is integral for your pitching success, so we’ve decided to spend more time on it today.

Getting to know your journalists is a lot like getting to know anyone else—you have to put time into it. Start off slowly, using some of the techniques we mentioned in our previous post. Tweet at them, retweet their articles. Make sure that you actually read the article, and then send an email with your comments. Show that you have an interest in what they’re writing. Do some background research into them—read what they’ve written about the past weeks, months, years. Note any trends. Note biases. Note writing styles.

Be helpful. Give them good, quality content, and accompany that content with secondary content when you can. Use videos, high-resolution images, infographics. Make the message visual, and that will appeal to both your journalist and/or blogger and to her readership.
Once your journalist knows of you, you can try deepening your interaction with him or her. Buy her coffee and ask to chat. Get to know each other person to person and let your personality shine through. If that means cracking corny jokes, go for it. He’ll be more likely to engage with you if he can tell you’re not just spouting company mission statements and values.

Continue to do more of the same—retweet their tweets, comment on their posts, and talk in person. Perhaps you’ll show up at his office for a quick catch-up. Maybe you’ll all go out for drinks after work. Devote time to getting to know her as a person and as a journalist, separately.

With honest, helpful, human interaction, you’ll form relationships with your journalists and bloggers which will yield many a media mention for you.