With love in the air, it’s only fitting to pop open some virtual champagne and celebrate the relationships we have in our lives, especially those we have with the special people who move the ticker for our clients: the media. As PR professionals, we must put the effort into establishing memorable and long-lasting interactions with reporters. How do we find that love connection and build relationships in such an ever-changing industry? By embracing these three secrets to a meaningful media relationships:
Nobody wants to feel neglected in a relationship. Do the right thing and put the media first. Block off time in the morning to catch up on the latest news and pay close attention to who is writing what type of article. Utilize secret weapons like Twitter to find out where your favorite reporters’ passions truly lie. What articles do they share with their followers? Which Tweets inspire them to click the little red Twitter heart? By understanding a reporter and their beat, you can strategically make a PR move and successfully insert your client into their upcoming articles.
Remember: You are dealing with the needs of another human being, not a robot behind a screen. Always bring your A-game when remembering deadlines and helping with any additional requests. Be generous and offer other clients who could be a perfect match for the reporter. Most importantly, once a reporter features your client in their story, tell them what you liked and thank them for inclusion. Be sure to share their story in your social feed. Relationship maintenance is what makes the public relations world go around!
Help reporters remember you by leaving a positive impression. Check in from time to time to see how they’re doing and what they have in their editorial pipeline. Chat with them on the phone about what’s happening in their life. Express condolences when they lose a loved one. Accept their invitation to meet up for coffee or drinks. Anything you can do to stand out goes a long way in nurturing your relationships (and I speak from all the experiences above)!
At the end of the day, these reporters aren’t just emails behind a screen – they’re unique people with amazing stories. Take time to get to know them and develop not only rapport, but authentic relationships. By strengthening these connections, you’ll establish yourself as the go-to PR pro for reporters.
Start spreading the PR love today. (And don’t forget the chocolates.)