Love is in the air! That’s right, Valentine’s Day is almost here and there’s no better time for PR pros to freshen up on best practices for showing love to members of the media. So break out the Sweethearts and check out these three swoon-worthy tips for cultivating lasting relationships with your media contacts:
Tip #1: Good Things Take Time
Every PR pro wants to improve their relationships with the media. But it’s also important to remember that journalists want and value strong relationships with PR pros, too.
In fact, according to Cision’s 2022 State of the Media report, “18% of journalists say their relationships with PR professionals have gotten more valuable in the last year.”
Sweep a reporter off their feet by making their life easier. Remember, you’re playing the long game here. Anticipate their needs, be aware of their deadlines, and create an easily shareable Google Drive or Dropbox folder with any available digital content such as high-resolution videos, images, headshots, infographics, renderings, or other visual assets that the reporter could use to accompany their story.
Media members will be grateful when you work efficiently and effectively to provide them with the assets they need, relevant story ideas, and expert sources in a timely manner. In return? That journalist will likely be more receptive to your pitches down the road.
Tip #2: Put a Little Love into Your Pitches
Media pitching isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. To grab a reporter’s attention, you’ll need to craft personalized and newsworthy pitches to stand out from the rest of the crowd. When you reach out to a reporter, reference other articles they’ve written and show that you’ve taken time to research their beat, the types of stories they generally write, and understand their target audience.
Remember, it’s called media relations for a reason. Securing earned media coverage is all about relationships after all. So, do your due diligence. Read the stories that your targeted media contacts are writing. Pull elements from their most recent articles into your proposed story angle and reference that in your pitches.
Additionally, be sure to set up Google Alerts for key phrases, breaking industry news, and emerging trends that your target reporters are covering so you can get ahead on the conversations taking place in your industry. Incorporate these timely elements into your next pitch to stay ahead of the curve.
Tip #3: Show Love on Social Media
It’s important to support journalists and their work on social media by sharing and reposting their stories across your social media channels. If a journalist covers your brand or product, make sure you’re thanking them for the exposure — and don’t forget to tag them and their news outlet in the post!
Also, if you haven’t already, make sure you’re following reporters on social media. This can provide you with valuable insight into their personality, hobbies, interests, and background.
For example, through some light social media stalking, you might find out that you both love Pomeranians and the Cincinnati Bengals. This is great information to arm yourself with so you can customize your next pitch with something personal.
Use these tips widely, and you’re likely to become a go-to source for media requests as you continue building rapport with journalists, reporters, and producers.
Looking for other helpful ways to strengthen your relationships with your media contacts?
Here are a few others on the Scooter Media blog you may be interested in: