So, you landed some great coverage – congrats! …Now what? Landing one hit with an editor is only the first step, but maintaining a strong relationship can be the difference between coming up empty and consistently driving results.
Here are some tips for working with the media that I have found useful:
1. Actually read the editor’s recent articles. Something I like to do before sending a pitch or picking up the phone is to scan through an editor’s recent articles. It gives me a sense of what they are currently focusing on, and then I’m prepared to discuss why I think my idea is relevant to their recent work. Usually, your contacts will be flattered and more open to hearing you out.
2. Interact. Tweet, retweet, favorite, like, share, connect, etc. Talk about the industry, or talk about the weather. Be a person. Just don’t incessantly interact with meaningless banter; you don’t want to get to the point where they feel like you are a nuisance. The point is to establish yourself as a peer, and to build trust between you. Depending on your relationship, two to three interactions each week on average is reasonable.
Taking it one step further, commenting on articles will go a long way. It shows that you care about and are actually absorbing their content (refer to tip #1), and they’ll take note.
3. Don’t pitch an editor something they won’t care about. It may seem like common sense, but it needs to be said. Just because an editor covers gaming technology, it doesn’t mean he or she will be interested in your new advertising platform targeted at game developers. If you have developed a relationship with the editor, over-pitching irrelevant topics will turn them off in an instant. If you are looking to develop the initial relationship, you’re not giving them much faith that you’re smart enough to work with them.
That said, if you can tailor a topic that, at first glance, may not be a smash hit and tie it into the editor’s tastes, you’ll at least have a shot at getting their attention. Only attempt this if you think there’s a chance they’ll be able to use the angle.
4. Meet them in person, whenever possible. Go to local networking events, or seek them out when you’re at a conference or tradeshow. It sounds a little crazy to even say, but it’s helpful to remind each other that you’re both people. Real, in-the-flesh interaction goes a long way to doing this.
No cookie cutting allowed!
Every editor is different, so take these tips with stride. Each has different personalities and preferences, and it’s important to keep it personalized. As a result, your interactions will stay genuine and editors will respect you for it. In the end, taking a few extra minutes go get to know who you are working with will make a world of difference.