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5 Tips for Building Long-term Media Relationships

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 |

It should go without saying that media relationships must be fostered to ensure oneís success in public relations. Creating those bonds, however, is especially difficult at a time when top news stories are compressed into 140 characters or less. Diligence, thoughtfulness, and constantly doing your research all pay off in big ways for your clients.

But how exactly can you effectively pitch and build long-lasting relationships with the media? Here are five tips gathered by Vocus:

1. Do your homework.
Know what reporters write, do a little research on their interests, and include those in your pitch. A comment on their most recent article or favorite sports team would do.

2. Contact them via their preferred channel.
Because their schedules are hectic, most media members prefer email. It enables them to respond when their busy schedules permit. Pair your email with a tweet or phone call to help attract attention to your pitch.

3. Donít send mass email pitches.
Blanket pitches are similar to cold call sales, and reporters can tell a mile away you are sending them one. They seek stories no other outlet will be running, and a mass email only negates that exclusivity. If you have to send a group message, personalize it, even if itís just a custom greeting.

4. Write the headline for them.
Suggest a headline to make it easier for reporters to visualize the story in their minds. You will see some great examples at BusinessInsider.com. Oh, and a word of advice, offer a headline, but donít tell them how to write the story.

5. BONUS: Persistence pays off.
Sometimes, the timing simply is off the first time, so donít hesitate to send the same pitch more than once.

In the age of social media, building media relationships can be difficult, but bonding over similar interests can eventually lead to feature coverage for your client. Be patient, persistent, and thorough when pitching, and youíll start earning the coverage you and your clients want.

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