Three ways to keep your media relationships thriving
You’ve successfully pitched and placed a story, what’s next? For PR professionals, seeking out and fostering relationships with the media is essential to ensuring success in the future. PR professionals should make every effort to become a reliable resource for journalists and can do so by providing them with content relevant to their interests, beat, and that aligns with their publication. That’s why we always recommend taking a just few minutes each day to do a little research on the journalists you keep in contact with.
Similar to the needs of interpersonal relationships, your relationship with the media needs to be nurtured to ensure growth and trust. Here are a few tips on maintaining strong relationships after you’ve put in the time and work to secure them.
- Continue to share related news and content
If you’ve succeeded in building a media relationship by sending a particular type of story, be sure to continue to send them related news as a courtesy. Even if they don’t publish the news or story right away, they might save it for when there is a gap in their editorial calendar. By continuing to send news, you’re showing your appreciation for the articles they have previously published. If there comes a time when you don’t have any news to share, try reaching out and starting a conversation around what kind of stories they’re working on or offer ideas based on what you know about their beat. If a journalist does not want to be bothered, they will let you know, but by remaining relevant it’s likely that you’ll have the opportunity to provide a similar story in the future.
- Use social media for more than just pitching news
Social media is a great way to pitch media on new stories, and it can be used as a tool that will take your media relationships beyond a simple @ mention or direct message. Consider building a Twitter list of your media friendlies to keep track of the content they are posting. It’s helpful to know if they are out of town on vacation, traveling for a tradeshow, or even writing for a new publication. Knowing what journalists are up to day to day can help you gauge whether you should be pitching them at that time. Use what you learn on social media to personalize your next correspondence by saying something like, “Hey Julie, welcome back from CES. Just wanted to share details about this exciting new product that launched at the show.” This personalization can help increase your chances of becoming a resource for a future story.
- Respect their deadlines and remain reliable
Being consistently respectful of journalists’ deadlines will always help to maintain your friendly media relationships. Once you’ve become a reliable resource, journalists will sometimes reach out when they are seeking new stories. When a journalist reaches out to you or your client for a comment or story idea, take the time to not only acknowledge their request, but thank them for reaching out and let them know that you will get back to them as soon as possible (even if you’re very busy!) Sending back a quick note might take 30 seconds, but it helps to continue to grow a long-lasting relationship.
To share your ideas about ways to keep relationships strong, Tweet @megannicole_pr and let me know!