One of the most important factors that will determine the success of your communication plan is the relationships you build with the media (reporters, producers, editors). Here are some tips for building a solid relationship:
- Deliver quality – do not waste their time with bad stories that are not relevant to the journalist you are pitching it to.
- Resource – offer yourself as a resource. Let them know that you will make them your number one priority if they need information from you. Sometimes, reporters just need your help to better understand the issue a little better. You are there to serve them. This is sometimes called a reverse pitch.
- Protect – own the relationship. If someone from your company wants to contact them, take a look at their pitch. Is it strong? If not, tell them that your contact would not be interested in the story. If you have to share the info, but don’t like the pitch, make sure your coworker doesn’t use your name.
- 0-return Pitch – provide your contacts story leads that have nothing to do with your business or clients. Long term, being altruistic will pay dividends.
- Exclusives - Journalists love exclusive stories. If you can give a reporter a few exclusives, you will start to become a PR star.
- Not friends – they don’t want to be your friend. All they want is a good, dependable resource.