Media Matters

Getting reporters et. al. to pay attention to story pitches requires PR pros to, well, behave like reporters, and ask themselves some key questions before they hit send or pick up the telephone. How to Craft a Media List and Build Relationships With Journalists

The Yin and Yang of Media Relations: The plethora of new media channels now available to communicators enables them to reach a larger pool of prospects and, with any luck, convert them into paying customers. But the primary role of PR pros remains the ability to reach reporters and convince them that a story has value for their audiences.

As the lists below indicate, getting reporters to bite at your story proposals is a two-pronged process. First, you have to manage and cultivate your media list, which should be a living, breathing thing (see left). Second, when you’re ready to take action ask yourself some key questions about the reporters/journalists who are on your radar (see right). A little research goes a long way, of course.

A few keystrokes and you can find out what the reporter covers/writes about and where his or her interests lie. Dig deeper and you may get a pretty good sense of when it’s a good time to reach out to the reporter and when you should back off. There are few (if any) journalists who will suffer from the “spray and pray” syndrome that has long plagued the PR field.