How to Build Great Relationships With the Media


How to Build Great Relationships With the Media

Building great relationships with the media requires a long term strategy and the willingness to give them what they want.

Ever wonder why some businesses get media coverage and why some don’t? Have you wondered why you can’t get the media to pay attention to your business?   

You know you can help people with their problems, and you have great information that can make a difference to people. So why does your competitor get all the coverage?

The reason?

It is not your information that does not get you a media win; it’s your approach.

Times are a ‘changing, but there are some tried and tested approaches that can win over the media and get your story in print or on screen.

The key is to build a relationship with the journalist or media outlet you want to target in advance of sharing your story.

How do you do that? Social media is a great way to connect. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin gives you a great window into what the journalist is working on and what they are passionate about. Monitor Twitter or Instagram hashtags, see what is trending.

We all like compliments, a journalist is no different (they are human too!).

If you like a story they wrote or shared, let them know.  If the journalist has a blog, read it, subscribe to it and comment on posts that interest you.

Here’s a thought. Pick up the phone and introduce yourself (briefly). You can be ready to do this by developing your key messages and your 30-second elevator pitch (I will blog on that next week).

Many journalists do prefer to get an email first, so send your media kit, with all your business’s important information, to your contact, letting them know you are here to help.

You can also sign up to Sourcebottle or Media Connections or any other site looking for experts to provide stories.

Another way to connect with media is to start small.

Check out publications with smaller and more targeted readerships, such as a local business weekly publication. Often these publications are one or two people shows. They are always keen for good quality information and the time saved tracking down their own stories. Life is about relationships.

People are not going to do something for you for nothing – there has to be a return on their investment.  

A journalist is definitely not going to do free advertising for your business; that’s not their job.  A journalist is seeking good quality information that interests their readers. Be a source that has taken the time to get to know them and what they are looking for – this means doing your research.

Go to the media outlet’s website and social media to see what they write about, the style of writing, insight into their audience and give them what they want.  

Developing great relationships with the media is a long term strategy.

It does take a little more time; yes, I know you want coverage NOW. But the rewards of developing great relationships with the media and your targeted outlet will prove to be fruitful. PR is a long-term strategy.

It takes more than a single media release to the results you are looking for. The key word in PR is relations; the relationship you develop with your contact. Be helpful and easy to work with. Be prepared.

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