How to Woo Reporters and Keep Them on Your Side
• Be available when a reporter needs to speak to you. It stands to reason that the people who promptly respond to a reporter’s questions and return their calls are going to get the best coverage.
• Say interesting things. You won't get quoted if you’re boring and sound like a robotic drone.
• If you want to clarify or expand on comments you made to a reporter during an interview, please follow up with them—and make sure you do this before deadline day.
• Provide statistics and other facts that can flesh out a story and give it some context.
• Offer multimedia content. We’re in a multimedia age where photos and print may not fully suffice. Always offer to provide graphics, sounds, video, databases and digital copies of reports, fact sheets, maps and background materials.
• Pitch story ideas well in advance. This is a no-brainer. Plan your pitch early so the reporter will have time to cover the story before their deadline.
• Update reporters on breaking news when they happen. If you don’t and the reporter finds out, this will make you seem disingenuous and non-trustworthy.
• Give reporters accurate contact information. Put complete information on every press release and e-mail you send them. There is nothing more frustrating for a reporter on a deadline than to have to scramble for contact information to confirm a story.
• If you are unhappy with something a reporter has done, speak to them first before lodging a complaint about them to their boss. You wouldn’t want if someone did this to you, now would you?
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