09 Apr 5 Secrets Every PR Pro Should Know
If you’re doing your job correctly, PR is getting coverage for your clients which stems from building genuine relationships with the media. Having strong relationships with the media is not only beneficial to your agency (or in our case, OUR agency), but it can be a real benefit to you throughout the rest of your career. Here are 5 tips that will help to spark those connections:
- Connect with reporters/journalists on social media.
Connecting with anyone on social media is always a good way to know what they’re up to. I, myself, found that this is the easiest way to know what reporters’ interests are and what their beat is. Most media is required, or at least highly encouraged, to spice up their digital news via social media, so why not like, comment, or even share out their story if you find it interesting? Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your favorite local journalist on social platforms.
- Meet face-to-face.
Meeting up with someone for lunch or an afternoon coffee is nerve-wracking if you’ve never met him or her. But it sure is beneficial when you are a PR pro because not only does it let reporters know that you see them as a resource, it shows them you’re a resource, too! It’s cool to put a face with a name, and it’s even better to see their personality face-to-face. It shows initiative for getting to know that reporter, and hopefully you end up as their go-to PR contact. I’ve learned you have to jump out of your comfort zone to genuinely get to know a reporter.
- Remember their time is valuable.
Everyone’s time is valuable, but the media is your door that allows you to be a rock star to your clients. Building a relationship with media often starts over email, and with that, it is important to be responsive and respectful. Being a reporter can get stressful, like any other job, and that’s why being respectful of their time and letting them know you have helpful information to make their jobs easy is key. It will show them that you are reliable, and they can count on you for future stories.
- Know what stories they cover.
Journalists get hundreds of emails in their inboxes per day, so don’t be the average subject line that says, “Spring Getaway Pitch!” go for something out of the box that you know that contact will open and read. Going back to the first tip I mentioned, following reporters on social media will help you understand what kinds of stories they cover. Your media contact that sticks to more serious beats like politics and breaking news are not likely to cover your pitch on a grand opening of your client’s restaurant. However, using them as a resource and asking if they can forward the pitch on to someone who covers stories like that, a morning live reporter, for example, is what you want to go for!
- Keep in touch.
Always remember to keep the authenticity between you and the media, even if it’s been a little while since you pitched that specific contact. National and local journalists are humans, too. It’s okay to tell someone to have a great weekend, a nice day, or that it’s great to hear from them so the personal connection is not lost in the work. Adding these personal touches allows you, over time, to understand each other’s working style and helps to effectively pitch your clients. GO BEYOND THE BEAT!