To cultivate relationships with journalists, there are a litany of practices to master; that’s if you want a puncher’s chance of getting reporters to consider your pitches and/or respond to your telephone calls.
As the checklists below indicate, PR pros should take a soup-to-nuts approach to media relations.
That starts with knowing how to build relationships from scratch and avoiding things that will alienate reporters, such as dancing around a delicate issue (the reporter already may have the goods, so dodging and weaving just digs a deeper hole) or talking smack about your competitors or other reporters.
Be timely with information and treat the reporter’s deadline as if it was your own. And, sure, we’re all time poor these days, but you have to find a window or two to meet with key reporters in-person.
Make sure that written materials provided to reporters are error-free. Keep headlines short and to the point. Perhaps most important, PR pros should build a rapport with journalists over time, so, when it’s the witching hour, you’ll be on a short list of companies or brands they will call for a quote.
This article originally appeared in the March 9, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.