An important skill for people wanting to raise their profile through the media is to learn how to deal with journalists.
If you can establish a good process for managing media relations, you will have a better chance of gaining media coverage. This process can also help you build a relationship with journalists, which may lead to ongoing media opportunities.
Here are some great tips to enhance your media relations and build a good relationship with journalists.
- Research the publication: Before sending any information to a journalist, it’s important to determine whether the information is relevant to the publication’s target audience. Do some research into the kinds of topics the publication and the journalist normally covers. Find out information about the publication’s target audience, such as who they are and what they are interested in. This way you can make sure you are sending tailored information so you can have a greater chance of getting published.
- Provide newsworthy stories: Make sure your news is relevant and newsworthy before sending it to a journalist. You don’t want to waste the journalist’s time by sending them information that is not interesting or useful to them. This can annoy journalists and they may ignore your emails in the future.
- Treat journalists with respect: Try not to make the mistake of being rude to a journalist or ignoring them because they work for a publication not relevant to your industry. Journalists often move jobs or change topics they cover and you may find yourself needing to deal with this journalist in the future. The same applies for dealing with junior journalists or interns, as one day they may have the top job in a publication.
If you have established a bad relationship with them, it may be too late to repair it and you could miss a great media opportunity.
- Be available: If a journalist wants to interview you or someone else in your business, it’s important to try your best to be available. If you always try to make time for a journalist, you can build a good relationship with them and they may start to see you as a reliable source. This could lead to more media opportunities in the future. If you don’t have time for a media interview, find someone else relevant to do the interview.
- Uphold your ethics: If you lie to a journalist or make claims that can’t be substantiated, a journalist may catch you out. This may ruin your relationship with them and could even result in negative media coverage.
- Stick to their deadline: Journalists work to very strict deadlines and need to make sure their story is finished in time for publishing. If a journalist has given you a deadline for information or an interview, you should try and deliver on your promise before this deadline.
By following these media relations guidelines, you can start to build good relationships with journalists and create a good reputation for yourself with other media professionals.