When it comes to landing media coverage it definitely pays dividends to have strong relationships with journalists.
Media relations can be defined as the building of relationships with the media. It’s one of the main reasons why agencies such as Motive are able to achieve success for clients in terms of media coverage and links.
Clients come to us because they know we already have active relationships with media contacts they’re seeking to reach. Rather than have to build those relationships themselves they can tap into our network.
It’s a two-way street which also benefits the media. Journalists trust us to keep them supplied with quality content which satisfies their need for a good story as well as conveying our clients’ key messages.
The good news is building media relationships isn't only available to agencies such as ours. Anyone can do it with a little time and patience. No matter how small you are it pays to build your media relationships before you start pitching your news items and bidding for coverage. Here are a few tips on how to find friends in the media:
Select your target journalists carefully
Don’t try to make friends with everybody. Instead focus your efforts on the journalists who cover your industry or sector. Take the time to delve deeper into trade publications and target those already writing about what you do. A good way to do this can be by analysing the media coverage your competitors already enjoy. It could well be worth reaching out to those writers and asking if you can assist them with future content.
Connect with journalists on social media
One of the best ways to build media contacts is to utilise social media platforms, especially LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with journalists. This doesn’t mean you have to ‘like’ every single post they share but interacting with their content, shows that you’re more than just a blank face behind the screen.
Make sure social pages have company headers
If you’re representing a company make sure your social pages reflect that so that when journalists respond to your connection requests they can see your brand and get a feel for what you do.
include an email address in bios
It’s always best to think about the bigger picture when forming new connections. If you’re using social platforms such as LinkedIn to make connections it’s always worth providing them with a professional email address where they can reach you.
Don’t just push content
As with any business relationship you should always take some time to build the connection before you start selling. It’s the same when seeking media coverage. Remember they don’t owe you anything. But the more they get to know you the more likely they will be to feature your news and content.
Have a strong news line
When you’ve done all the groundwork it’s time to start actually pitching your content. Great news. But when pitching a story make sure to have a news angle which stands out and is worth the time of the journalist you’re trying to win coverage from. Having a journalist as a trusted media contact is only a fraction of the work. Just because you're connected on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you’re best friends and they’re obliged to push a free advert.
Once you’ve built some rapport with a journalist, take the time to respond to further requests and build the relationship further with generic emails, to show that once a press release is sent then it’s not just the end of conversation. You will be able to send future content to the contact too.
Don’t over pitch
Keep your contact at an appropriate level. Don’t pitch every single day to the same targets. This can lead to journalists getting frustrated and can ultimately result in less coverage. Consistently sending similar content to the same source can harm your relationship with a trusted media contact, so it’s best to spread out the different types of content.
Taking the time to build genuine mutually beneficial relationships with media contacts will lead to increased levels of media coverage and links.
If you don't have the time or patience required do feel free to contact us and we can do it all for you.