Develop relationships with reporters to get the media coverage you want.
Getting news or feature coverage for your organization is more challenging than ever, with shrinking newsrooms. Newspapers and TV stations have laid off reporters. Those who remain are often overwhelmed, having to post on social media as well as for print or broadcast.
Public relations professionals are more likely to get an email response to a pitch or news release if they have a relationship with a reporter. It is ideal to have a face-to-face meeting, at a “meet the media” luncheon like those sponsored by local chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Another is to invite a reporter or editor to coffee. When the person is away from the office, he can give you full attention.
Other tips to build a relationship were shared by media relations coach Michael Smart via PRSA.
1. Tag the reporter in tweets to spread the word about an article or blog they have written. Tagging is likely to 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 the reporter’s coverage, not your company. The idea is not to pitch, but 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 stories on your organization’s social media and on Reddit. Track the clicks and let them know. “Hey Julie, just wanted to let you know I thought your tech brands analysis, last week, was so compelling that I posted it to the jobs subreddit and it made the first page. Hope that sent some well-deserved traffic your way.”
Organizations can get coverage by contracting with a public relations firm like Gonder PR who has built relationships with the media over many years. Another option is to hire a media relations person in-house. Feel free to give us a call at 303-321-3465 if you’d like more information.