As PR professionals, we know much of what makes us irreplaceable to our clients is the media relationships we have with reporters, editors, and producers. When done right, it can take years to form these valuable connections with the media. Here are four ways to maintain media relationships with our valued contacts.
Respect Their Time
When you’ve worked with a reporter for a while you will learn their pitching preference down to the best day of the week and time to reach out to them. Be aware of their deadlines and respect their time. Try your best to be responsive and get back to them as quickly as possible with what they need.
Offer Good Stories
Make sure your story is on point. Your pitch needs to, at the very least, answer the 5 Ws – who, what, where, when, and most importantly, why. Make it easy on your media contacts and paint them the full picture of what you’re offering. Include what samples can be delivered, what visuals can be present, who is available to speak with them, and any other ideas that will help convey your story idea. In addition, train your clients so they are well prepared to speak with your contact.
It’s a good idea to touch base with your media contacts every now and then even when not pitching a specific story. Social media makes this easy to comment on their posts, wish them a happy birthday, or congratulate them on an accomplishment or a story well done. Be authentic and ping them even just to say hi and to catch up, and perhaps to offer yourself as a resource for any story they might be working on. They will appreciate the outreach.
When working with a media contact, it’s important for you to be thankful and appreciate them for reaching out to you and taking the time to learn more about your potential story or expert. It’s true that reporters are busier than ever and by showing your appreciation for their time, they’ll be more willing to hear your ideas. At the end of a successful story, be sure to thank them and tell them it was a pleasure working together!
Follow these four ways to maintain media relationships and you’ll be well on your way to developing lasting contact with the media.
At HJMT PR, we have nurtured our connections with media for almost 30 years. Our media contacts come to us when they need a source and also trust us and in turn, our clients, as reputable experts in their fields of expertise. If you’re looking for help getting your brand attention, reach out to us today. We can help you gain visibility and awareness through a crafted public relations/media outreach campaign.