You are a busy person. You have a busy job and not much time. You are proud of what you do and you want people to know about it.
Don’t assume that journalists are different. They are not sitting waiting for your press release to arrive. However, if it is good enough and timely enough when it does land, they might just pick it up and cover your story.
People sending their news stories to local newspapers sometimes forget that relationships are a two-way street. Journalists work on networks. They are more likely to use your content if they know and trust you.
Newsdesks receive hundreds of emails and calls every day. Most of them land cold and make little impression. Think about how you respond to the cold calls you receive.
So how do you get your message heard and acted upon by local media?
In business, you have identified a market which you sell to. Why behave differently when it comes to pitching to the media?
Knowing which titles, media outlets, journalists and editors you should approach is essential when it comes to establishing good media relations. It saves everyone’s time.
Spend time researching the types of outlets that best fit your target audience and focus on those as you start looking for potential contacts in the media.
It’s easy to send a press release out on a bulk email. What’s less easy is committing to building up a long-term relationship with relevant journalists.
Yet doing so will dramatically increase the likelihood of your press release being used. It may also mean being able to pitch stories in advance.
It saves everyone time (and saves you money) if the journalist has the confidence to give you a simple yes or no to your pitch before work begins on writing your press release.
As with any networking, building media contacts does not happen overnight.
It’s not enough to simply send out press releases every once in a while. As with any network, it’s important to stay proactive and build relationships over time.
You will need to show persistence and interest across platforms. Think email, social media, and in person at conferences or industry events. Learn what your target journalist needs and aim to provide good ideas to them.
Having journalists know who you are and what you do is a good investment when it comes to getting their attention with your story later down the line.
Once you've established contact, remember to maintain open communication.
Journalists will come to you if they feel your story is a good fit when topics arise that would be suitable for coverage. This is how 1284 clients become thought leaders on regional media coverage of Government announcements and other breaking news.
Being agile in responding to such opportunities promotes you as a strong and successful brand.
Just like any relationship, trust and confidence matter when developing relationships with members of the media.
Make sure that any commitments you make are honoured and delivered on time. Remember that journalists work to tight deadlines and your work may be spiked if you do not deliver as promised. If you gain a reputation for delivery then more opportunities will come.
Also, be prepared to work fast. Very fast. And at any time. It’s not uncommon for 1284 to get an opportunity, write a statement, obtain client sign-off, and issue to media within 30 minutes. This is what gets clients featured in breaking news press coverage
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