By Jena Vuylsteke Williamson, PR & Social Media Senior Account Executive
January 31, 2017
As a brand, you want the media to write positively about your company and your story. One way to do that is to develop and keep quality relationships with media personalities.
PR professionals have relationships with the media that can—and should be—mutually beneficial. However, year after year, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports growth in the number of PR professionals and a decline in the number of journalists. For this reason, it takes more than crafting a clever pitch to get a media placement at top tier publications. If you really want your message to stand out in a journalist’s crowded inbox you need to have a strong relationship with them. Here are five relationship-building tactics to try:
1. Schedule a Visit
Great relationships often start with a deskside visit. It’s a chance to sit down and spend uninterrupted time with a member of the media. The opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting not only helps establish a personal connection, it also gives you the chance to hear what the media are working on and how your company or product might be a good fit for a story already in development.
2. Host an Event
Capitalize on another opportunity to meet face-to-face by hosting media at an industry event or trade show. This could mean coordinating one-on-one meetings at a trade show booth, organizing a happy hour, or hosting a casual dinner for several members of the media. Meeting with media this way sets you apart from the competition and will help develop a stronger, more lasting impression.
3. Send a Sample
If you have a physical product, preparing a small mailing to select members of the press is another great way to foster relationships and encourage coverage. You may be a great wordsmith, but that doesn’t discount the impact of sending someone something tangible—it’ll stick in their memory long after any email you could send.
4. Share on Social Media
Everyone has the same goal concerning their brand, and that’s to increase awareness. The same is true for journalists—they need to increase their personal brand. If someone writes something about your company or product, help spread the word by sharing it on social media and thanking them by name, not just by their publication title, for their help.
5. Grab a Drink
Grabbing coffee or a quick drink is a great way to get to know someone when you are in their area or vice versa. Sure, your relationship will always be a professional one, but this is an opportunity to learn about each other’s interest and perhaps even find a way to work together on another project. It’s also much harder to forget someone and who they represent when you’ve had early morning coffee with then in NYC or grabbed martinis after an all-day conference in San Francisco.
Wondering who would be the best member of the media to contact and how to get that conversation started? We’d love to brainstorm with you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.