If a member of the news media is not returning your calls or emails; try these tips to build a relationship:

media; PR

Develop relationships with reporters to get the media coverage you want.

1. Tag them in tweets for positive attention. Many reporters are required to post on social media. Tagging will get the reporter’s attention and increase the chances she’ll open your next email.
2. Target the least crowded inbox. Send a handwritten card that focuses on their coverage (not on YOU). Remember, the idea isn’t to pitch, it’s to set yourself apart as someone worth responding to later.
3. Send them traffic. Link to their stories on your home page or email newsletter. Repost their articles  on your organization’s social media.  Track the clicks and let them know. “I posted your story on our site and hope that sent some well-deserved traffic your way.”

4. Send them useful information. With social media as well as reporting demands, most reporters are strapped for time.  Sending a link to information related to an industry they cover is another way to build respect and collegiality.

Developing strong media relations is a long-term prospect.  Reach out to reporters and editors when you do Not have a story to pitch. They will come to see your as a valuable resource, not just someone trying to “sell them.”