Blog by: Kyra Kronberg, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
Journalists and news stations are sometimes stereotyped as a bunch of scandal-thirsty tabloid investigators, when in reality it’s not like that at all, and avoiding them means missing out on some valuable PR. Distributing a press release to news stations to see who will bite works occasionally, but unfortunately, they are constantly sifting through tens to hundreds of press releases received every day. So if your organization has an event, product, or anything in need of a PR push, grabbing the media’s attention can be hard. That’s why building relationships with the media ahead of time can prove useful in the future.
Get to Know Editors and Journalists
If you want more publicity for your company, building relationships with local reporters, editors, and radio DJs is a great way to get your organization’s name out there. Not only does it give you a leg up on the other press releases in the pile, but it will make you a potential contact for a relevant story they work on in the future. And in the case of a crisis, they will come to you first, allowing you to control the message.
Focus on Your Pitch
News outlets are always looking for content their audience will want to watch, hear, or read about, which means any pitch brought to them has to be relevant and attention grabbing.
Become a Resource
Any relationship benefits from two-way communication. That means, both sides benefit from organizations that make resources known and available. A lot of journalists grab information from websites and social media, so making sure your online presence is up to date and contact information is easily accessible helps them, in turn, helping you. If anything relevant to your company or a product pops up in the news, jump on the opportunity and send an email.
Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines!
Journalists’ time is valuable. They are always on a deadline, and in many cases, time is literally money. Nothing is more useless than responding back for an interview days after a deadline. If you get a phone call or email from an editor or reporter, respond in a timely manner.
Stay in touch by email, and keep being proactive, not to the point of being annoying, but to keep your purpose in mind. If you don’t get a response, don’t worry, they probably receive an extraordinary amount of emails every day and don’t have time to respond to all of them.
But where do you start? You can begin by emailing some useful comments on stories they’ve already written, or pitch stories they might like to write in the future. Get to know media professionals, return calls and emails in a timely manner, and be a resource. Because if you help them out, they will likely help you out in the future.