PR Pros give tips on building relationships with journalists
Jana Glowatz, CEO and founder, JANA Public Relations
In the PR industry, relationships with not only editors but with stylists, TV producers, and other journalists is vital for your business; this is partly why your clients hire you. For me personally, I thought it would be a little more of a challenge to maintain these relationships since I moved to Miami from NYC a little over a year ago. I have been cognizant of keeping in touch with my contacts that I have made over the years while in New York and always trying to connect with them on a personal level, even though I’m not always there to be with them face to face for, say, a lunch.
Jeff Kear, owner, Planning Pod
One PR practice that has worked wonders for me is to come up with 5-10 observations or ideas every quarter based on what I am seeing in the industry and pass those along to journalists in my industry. Building relationships with journalists is not about pummeling them with press releases about your company but instead giving them updates, insights and ideas about your industry that could lead to a good story. By freely giving them ideas on a regular basis, I have found they often reciprocate by using me as a source and covering my company when it is relevant.
Kayla Mancuso, account coordinator, Emerging Media
Create a thought-provoking pitch that applies to the journalist’s wants [and] needs.
Nicole Dunn, CEO, Dunn Pellier Media Inc.
Often when editors book our clients for articles, we send thank you notes and flowers as a way to say that we appreciate them and [to say] thank you for helping get our clients message out! PR is a service-based business, and just like sales, you can seal the deal better if you meet in person first. [For] the people we have not met (because you can’t meet everyone), we take extra time to make sure we go above and beyond with getting them what they need or even creating the segment for television.
Suki Mulberg Altamirano, founder, Lexington Public Relations
Build a strong rapport with journalists by offering them information that is concise, timely and on-target with their publication’s focus. Understanding how they work will enable you to personalize your media relations approach so that you become an asset instead of an annoyance. A good public relations professional should make a journalist’s life easier.
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