As a PR professional it’s good to learn early on that the media is always going to play an integral role in both you and your client’s success. Whether it’s setting up briefings at a tradeshow, pitching a trend idea or working on a thought leadership piece – the media have a hand in the outcome. So here are three tips on how to build strong and long-lasting relationships with the media.
Editors are still people. It’s easy to picture editors as these stern characters behind their computers that are intimidating to call and want nothing to do with you. But editors are people too and they appreciate a well thought out e-mail or properly positioned pitch. Don’t be afraid to send an e-mail that acknowledges a recent article they’ve written or a favorite Tweet that you liked. Not every conversation has to be work related, some can be conversational. Develop a relationship and reach out on topics that you find interesting and think the editor might also enjoy. You never know you could end up having a new pen pal that one day could write on a topic that benefits you both!
Don’t blanket pitch. I personally hate receiving those spam looking emails that are clearly not personalized, look like it went to 100 other people and for the most part are completely irrelevant to me. What makes you think editors are any different? Editors receive hundreds of emails a day, so don’t send them one that is just going to waste their time and end up getting lost in the mix. For our clients we have a heavy focus on the technology sector. But the truth is that technology is a broad category so even though an editor’s beat is tech, it doesn’t mean they cover what you are pitching. Take the extra time to read their bios, see if they have any specific interests and approach them with the right angle. The editor will appreciate the time you took to find them and you might even garner some interests and results!
Follow-up. This seems obvious right? Well it is! You have developed a great relationship with an editor, you work together to get an article posted and then… that’s it. No! Follow-up and thank them. When the article is live send them a note letting them know you like the piece or that you enjoyed working with them. You have complete free reign to follow-up how you see fit but don’t let the conversation just end after the opportunity is over. Going back up to my first tip, editors are people so make sure you send a quick thank you and even after that it’s okay to send an e-mail checking in to maintain the relationship.
Keep these tips in your back pocket, and keep some new relationships with the media in a great place!