The reach of your PR initiatives is highly dependent on the quality of your relationships with the journalists in your field. The key to strengthening these relationships is simple – help journalists become better journalists.
Take the time to show that you care about journalists and their profession, and not just about breaking your latest story, and you become more than just another PR person. You become someone worth listening to, maybe even worth talking to. Prove yourself valuable enough, and journalists might even start coming to you for stories, rather than the other way around.
Here are a few ways you can start building those relationships now:
- Learn what journalists care about. It really should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – know your audience. If you’re irrelevant, you will be ignored.
- Send them story tips. And not just yours. Demonstrate that you’re an invaluable source for industry information, not just information about your company.
- Make helpful introductions to people in your network. The more you help a journalist build his or her network, the more likely they are to help you grow yours.
- Share their articles and praise them publicly. Be genuine, not self-serving. When your next big story comes out, they’ll be far more likely to return the favor.
It takes time, patience, and a willingness to give more than you receive, but the rewards are well worth it.
What’s your approach to building relationships with journalists?