Being involved in public relations for nearly two years now, I have witnessed first hand the importance of building solid working relationships with media contacts in the industry. By forming relationships, you become more than just a signature in an email or a name on a caller ID.
This is extremely important as you – the PR professional – want editors, writers, journalists, etc. to feel 100% comfortable when dealing with you. The more comfortable a writer feels with you, the more likely he or she will utilize you as a resource.
3 tips to form strong working relationships with media contacts:
- Be courteous and respectful – understand that media personnel have deadlines, and be attentive to their needs.
- Follow-up with journalists on pending projects – the worse thing a PR professional can do is to “go cold” when a journalist has requested a press release, photo, or interview from you.
- Contact editors when you don’t have a story to pitch – forming relationships means communicating with the editorial community, providing them with feedback and offering sources, market intelligence and even your client’s competitors. (Remember the goal is to be an advocate and a resource)
If you follow these tips and are professional in your responses, you will have everything you need to build successful relationships with the media!