For those of us that have been in communications for some time love to share tips and tricks on how to build meaningful media relationships. We all have our horror stories about a time when we tried to force a relationship, and as fun as they are to tell, they taught us all a valuable lesson.
First off, it is crucial to understand that the media landscape is constantly changing, not only in traditional media, but also with the rise of social media influencers, freelancers, bloggers, and we are required to create connections with them all. It’s no light task to be expected to “get coverage,” so it is easy to lose sight of what is most meaningful in engaging pitching efforts and effectively communicating with key audiences.
Based off this, let’s share some strategic tips that will help you successfully network.
- Find the time: As the days fly by, it feels like there is not enough time to do any additional reading. It really only takes a few minutes to find out what your target is interested in, and has been writing about. By just taking that extra 60 seconds, you can showcase your knowledge and understanding easily opening the door for a conversation. Even if it’s a few glances at social media to see what the trends and hot topics are enough to spark a discussion.
- Don’t waste their time: It is obvious to media, influencers, and bloggers when you don’t do your homework. Be sure to convey not only what you know and want, but also what you can provide to them. The last thing you want to do is promise them something you can’t deliver.
- Be considerate: To reiterate the importance of tailoring and personalizing your pitching efforts, you don’t want to be known as annoying and to avoid that label – make sure you are tying directly back to what your target covers or cares about. Also, be in tune with their workload, is there an upcoming trade show you know they will be attending or was there breaking news with a company they always cover? They are only human so be mindful of their schedules and deadlines too.
- Be supportive: It is easy to just “spray and pray” when you’re client has news to share, but in order to get the results you and your client want, make sure you are not just reaching out only when you want something from them. It shows you care when you touch base to share insight or perspective on a recent article you read or even to compliment on a piece they just wrote.
A golden rule in PR is PRepare, PRepare, PRepare. It will go a long way in forging those successful relationships that will last throughout your career. Got any tricks up your sleeve? Be sure to share in the comments section below!