The success of your public relations campaigns is highly dependent on the quality of your relationships with journalists from both the print and social media. Building strong relationships with journalists and achieving media relations success requires a proactive approach.
Public relations agencies and communications managers can use the following 10 tips to build solid relationships with journalists and achieve media relations success.
Understand their needs
Before approaching a journalist, it’s important to understand what type of stories they cover and what their audience is interested in. This will help you tailor your pitch and increase the chances of them covering your story.
Blasting our press releases without understanding is old school. Even when you add incentives or “brown envelopes,” your media relations success will still be limited if you don’t demonstrate understanding of their needs.
Build a rapport
Building a relationship with a journalist and achieving media relations success takes time and effort. Start by following them on social media, reading their articles, and engaging with their content.
Get personal too with key journalists in your field. Know their birthdays, congratulate them when they win an award, and keep the connection going.
Journalists are always on the lookout for exclusive stories. If you have something exclusive to offer, it will increase the chances of them covering your story and seeing you as their friend.
Journalists are under tight deadlines and need information quickly. Respond to their inquiries promptly and provide them with the information they need in a timely manner.
Many public relations consultants and corporate affairs managers sometimes fall short on this point. Failure or delay response reduces your emotional bank account with journalists and also lessens your chances of achieving media relations success.
Be open and honest with journalists. If you can’t provide them with the information they need, let them know and offer to help them find someone who can.
Many public relations professionals fail to see the importance of transparency in achieving long-tern media relations success.
Journalists are always looking for visual content to accompany their stories. Provide them with high-quality images and videos that they can use to enhance their articles.
You will score even higher points with journalists when you offer them visuals that are relevant to their publications, and not just those that accompany your press releases.
After providing a journalist with information, follow up with them to see if they need any additional information or if they are planning to cover the story.
Provide value and be a source too
Journalists are always looking for new and interesting stories. Provide them with valuable information and insights that will help them create compelling content for their audience.
Building a relationship with journalists also means being a source for them. Offer to provide them with information and insights on topics related to your industry. This will also help you achieve media relations success.
Building a strong relationship with a journalist takes time and effort. Be consistent in your interactions with them and don’t be afraid to reach out to them even when you don’t have a specific story to pitch.
Say thank you
Journalists are human too and appreciate it when you acknowledge the use of your story and say thank you.
It sounds obvious. But many public relations and communications are quick to ask, but very slow to say thanks.
Keep these 10 PR tips in mind and you will build a strong relationship with journalists, achieve media relations success and live happily with them ever after.