Regardless of whether you focus on digital or traditional PR, interacting with media is an important part of our day-to-day work. After spending a year working in the exciting world of digital entertainment and consumer technology, I’ve learned that developing relationships with media requires more than just pitching stories. It means inserting yourself, and your client, into the conversations that matter to them. Reaching out to reporters was intimidating at first, but I’ve picked up a few things that have made interacting with media the most exciting part of my day. If you’re just starting out, check out these four tips:
Identify who you want to engage with.
Who do you find interesting? We spend so much time tracking coverage and reading the news that your brain becomes a database of opinions, commentary and news trends. Take advantage of this and note the people and news pubs you find interesting. It’s easier to build a strong relationship with a publication that you read on a daily basis.
Introduce yourself and let them know that you’re available to be a resource for them. Introductory notes are a great way to kick-off a conversation where you can pick their brain and learn about the subjects, companies, and trends that matter the most.
Engage on social media.
Journalists are entertaining, witty, and write really awesome posts. Oftentimes, they ask open-ended questions about industry news, new research, and data that will affect your client. Engaging on Twitter is an easy way to learn about what’s important to them and what’s not.
Know your stuff.
Reporters want a full understanding of the subject they are exploring. For me, working in digital entertainment requires the knowledge of a very broad industry, with many players and a ton of technical nuances. Sometimes I talk about these topics with family and friends to explore additional perspectives. Your peers, who may not be as immersed in the subject, ask great questions that can inspire new topics and stories to brainstorm and then pitch.
Photo Credit Rab Ritchie