How valuable is your brand in business? Building a strong relationship with the media is critical for any business that wants to grow its brand and public relations platform. Growing your relationship with the media requires trust and developing a good rapport
with individual reporters and outlets.
We’re sure your question now is “how do I build and maintain good relationships with the media?” We have a few tips to help you get started.
1. Identify Which Reporters to Contact Within Your Niche
Not every media outlet or reporters will be interested in your story. To utilize your time wisely, create a list of reporters and those that are relevant to your business, your clients and your target audience. The key is to look for media outlets and professionals whose focus is related to your brand focus. Is it possible for an outlet to be interested in your pitch, even if it’s not their area of coverage? Absolutely, however, it’s more likely they will be less interested in covering a story on subject matter that is not related to their normal assignments. We suggest focusing on building relationships more closely aligned with your interests.
2. Connect with Media Professionals and Outlets on Social Media
We are in the digital age where building relationships online is just as important as building relationships offline. In fact, many businesses value the interactions they receive from you on social media. Follow and connect with the media outlets and professionals you would like to build relationships with by engaging them occasionally by commenting, liking and sharing their posts or articles. Consider also tagging them in a post of interest to you and them. While this may not get the attention of each person or outlet you are trying to build a relationship with, it will be worth it for others. Many of them will remember you from your social interactions when you contact them with a pitch.
3. Respect the Time of the Reporter
Things can get busy throughout the day and sometimes a reporter may call or email during an inopportune time. It’s important to remember, however, that reporters are usually on strict deadlines and they need a quick response to get your story covered. If you need to appoint someone to follow up with media, designate someone before reaching out to media outlets with your pitch. A well-thought-out statement with a swift response is recommended so it doesn’t result in a missed media opportunity. Lack of response and respect of a reporter’s time can ruin the relationship before it’s even established.