How to Become BFFs With a Reporter (and Other Helpful Tips)

by | Sep 29, 2017 | Media Relations

As PR pros, we make to-do lists for our clients every day: create a press release, pitch media, research award opportunities, build press lists, (remember to breathe), draft a byline, etc. But one thing that can make these sometimes-daunting tasks easier is having lasting relationships with reporters. Sure, you can send a stellar product review pitch to a fashion reporter, but it’s often what you do after you press send on your email that leaves a lasting impression on reporters.

Creating mutually beneficial relationships with media members, especially local ones, can mean the difference between an ignored email and a response within minutes. In the PR world, it’s essential to have these types of relationships with reporters. The tips below are meant to help create strong, long-lasting relationships with media.

Do what you say.

“Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.” While we’ve all heard this cliché a few hundred times in our lives, it’s still applicable in almost all settings. When you propose something to a reporter (an interview, photos, b-roll, etc.), make sure you can deliver. Keeping these types of promises will help to build trust with reporters.

The same principle applies to being open and honest. If a reporter comes to you with a handful of requests, but you aren’t sure if you can’t make them all happen, tell the reporter that; you’ll see what you can do and keep them as updated as possible. Following through with what you say and promise will help you land some brownie points with media.

Acknowledge reporters as individuals.

Reporters are people, too! When sending out pitches, make sure to find out more about them – what beat do they cover? What are their hobbies? What stories have they written in the past (and would they write about your topic)? Familiarizing yourself with the reporter you’re about to pitch will help determine the tone of your email.

Do your research before blasting every reporter under the sun with your pitch. And please, please personalize your pitch – that simple gesture can go a long way!

Exceed expectations.

After you’ve started the conversation with a reporter and have had back-and-forth communication, don’t wait around for a reporter to request something – go the extra mile and offer up additional items to help make their lives easier. Think they’re going to want a photo with the award recognition you sent over? Or links to websites/social channels? Be one step ahead of the reporter, and be prepared with additional requests they might make. Answering a reporter’s request before it’s asked shows you’re on your A-game.

At Dittoe PR, we set ourselves apart from our competition by taking the time to get to know local and national media. It might seem stringent at times, but our results show that it pays off in the long run. Contact us today!

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Dittoe PR is a nationally recognized public relations and social media management agency.

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