INK Media Relationship

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  • November 5, 2010
  • Starr Million Baker

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a virtual panel discussing the topic of how to be one of those PR people with whom journalists like to work. Media relations – GOOD media relations, the kind that is mutually beneficial to all (me, my client, and the reporter) – is a topic near and dear to my heart because it’s so simple, yet so wildly and completely done incorrectly. It is my goal to eliminate journalists ever having to say to PR people again: “don’t call me to see if I got your email,” “don’t spam me with the rest of your email list,” and my personal favorites “please, just read what I write” and “know your client.”

Really? This has to be said? Unfortunately, yes. So in a nutshell, here’s INK’s approach to media relationships:

Research: Know who you’re pitching, what they write, who they write for, what they care about, what they need, how do they communicate, how did they cover topics of interest to you and your client

Relate: Introduce client/story idea in context to something written recently, an area you know they are covering or interested in, or the relationship they may already have with you or your client

Be Relevant: Provide a news hook, tie into a current event, contact via the channels the reporter wants to communicate in (email, Twitter, LinkedIn)

Be a Resource: Provide quick, interesting and reliable sources of information, quotes and perspective

Respond: Don’t just pitch the client, be a reader and respond to other items of interest, have a conversation – and by all means, respond quickly to questions if asked!

Be Ready: Prep your spokespeople! Make sure they know what you’ve already talked about with the reporter – no one wants surprises (including the reporter)

Resonate: Help the reporter create a larger effect with the story, push it out via all available channels, start a conversation

Results: All of the above will get you results, but it comes down to this – create a relationship and then nurture it. That won’t steer you wrong.