For many companies, the idea of reaching out to journalists is a terrifying prospect. But a PR strategy without a media relationship management plan isn’t a PR strategy. If you don’t figure out how to build these relationships, you lose out on the chance of getting your stories heard.
The fears companies have are often the same. The news media could re-angle your stories to something you didn’t expect, right? And they could always twist your words and change the narrative? This attitude will make you miss out on some of the best opportunities for visibility there are! Media coverage is the best way to reach large, new audiences, and the only way to get it is to take the leap. To maximize your chances of piquing the media’s interest, you have to start building relationships with key journalists as early as you can. Here’s how.
Media relationships are built on trust
You hear it all the time – what matters most is who you know personally. Agencies and companies spend thousands each year taking media professionals out for a beer,, trying to create these personal bonds. But although it’s nice to meet new people, journalists are professionals of the highest standard. No amount of free drinks are going to get an uninteresting story published, and in the long run, sending bad pitches will make media professionals lose interest in your emails, no matter how much they like you personally.
To build trust, you need to make yourself a credible source of newsworthy information. And you do that by being honest. Finding an interesting angle to your story is important, but if you cannot back it up or you base it on false information, you will damage your reputation. The opposite will happen if you consistently pitch true and interesting stories. Journalists will start trusting your content and consistently reading your emails. It may not all get published, but getting read will eventually get you that coverage you’re looking for.
Build that trust over time
Strong media relationships aren’t built overnight. You need to show yourself as a consistently trustworthy partner. When you have made a connection, keep sending them good, newsworthy content. As you grow, you can use that coverage from smaller outlets to reach bigger ones, while still maintaining those relationships you built in the first place. Over time, you will find yourself with a number of media contacts you know will hear you out whenever you have something to announce. That’s a huge advantage over competition who were late to the party, as they will have to spend a lot of time building those same relationships.
But what to do?
Now that you know all this, we can help you make it happen!
Get in touch, and we’ll help you tell your stories.