A great feature in a respected publication or an interview on a popular news show is one of the definitions of PR success, therefore a lot of PR professionals spend a lot of their time pitching to journalists in order to get media placements on new and traditional media. Establishing mutually beneficial relationship with reporters is key in ensuring that your client is getting featured and highlighted on different platforms. Before featuring
Research, Research, Research
Know which journalists cover your industry. It does not make sense for a client in the beauty/fashion industry to pitch to a reporter who covers the agriculture industry. Therefore, PR professionals must do their research. When pitching to a specific journalist, read back on a few of their news stories to not only understand what they cover, but also to understand their style of reporting. This will ensure that you are pitching to the right journalist and increasing your chances of having your client featured.
Connect with journalist on a personal level
Think of professional relationship building as you would personal relationship building. Take time to invest in the relationship by reaching out to key reporters in your industry. Ask them to grab a cup of coffee and get to know them as a person. If you connect on a personal level, it potentially decreases the chances of your email getting deleted the moment it hits their inbox.
Talk to reporters when you don’t have a story
If the only time a reporter hears from you is when you want them to cover your client, then it’s not really a beneficial relationship. Reach out to them genuinely when you do not need anything from them, this will lead to relationships that is mutually beneficial. It keeps your name in mind when they need to cover something, meaning that if they are looking for an expert in your industry to comment on a specific story that they are working on, they will remember your company and maybe even lead to unsolicited media coverage.
Be a resource
There is a missed opportunity for PR professional when they are only pushing and not helping out journalists. Just like you, journalists are also working on hard deadlines and pressure to get the right stories. So be a resource and give them what they need. Along with your press releases include facts, quotes and B-roll! The less work they have to do on their own the more likely they will feature your story and your client.
Interact with them on social media! Share and comment on their stories, even if they do not feature your client. Send a thank you note after an important feature, and make an effort to congratulate them on promotions and other milestones. These small steps lead to more genuine, long-lasting relationships
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