Last week in my public relations class, Advanced Writing for the Digital World, we covered the basics of media relations. The most significant point that I took away from the lecture is that media relations is not just about interacting with the publications — it’s about building relationships with reporters and publications as a whole. Here are 8 quick tips on how to connect with the most influential journalists.
•Know the source.
This means that you should familiarize yourself with the reporter, the publication as a whole, and even the deadlines that these reporters are working from.
•Introduce Yourself. This one is
pretty self-explanatory, but extremely important. The more you tell a journalist who you are, the more likely they are to remember you.
•Help them do their job. Make it easier for reporters to get the information they need. If it’s a great story, be proactive and pitch the idea in a clear, exciting way.
•Set expectations and deliver. Everyone is more productive when they work towards goals. Create a strategy of how to best work with your target media and follow through.
•Be honest. Even the slightest evasion, or even a miscommunication can damage the trust of a journalist.
•Be responsive. Time is ticking. By being responsive and prompt, you can foster a more cohesive and transparent relationship.
•Be available. Always make the time for a reporter that wants to chat on the phone or pay your office a visit. They should not have a difficult time communicating with you.
•Don’t disappear when crisis hits. Not only is this a poor reflection of yourself as a PR professional, but also reflects poorly on your company. Again, being available and prepared to answer questions will boost your credibility and journalists will respect you more.
Follow these simple steps and you’ve got the foundation for a strong relationship with the media! Thanks to my professor, Kerri Ganci for the great guidelines.<
About the Professor: Kerri Ganci is the Director of Public Relations and Marketing at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and adjunct public relations professor at Syracuse University.