How to build media relationships (and how not to)

By in Blog
On February 11, 2020

Build media relationships
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You may have seen that several journalists on Twitter recently criticized a new service being offered by Press Hunt, a media database platform, that will send automated emails to targets whenever they mention specific keywords in their articles or tweets. Needless to say, they weren’t thrilled:

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given that public relations professionals outnumber journalists by a 6-to-1 margin, already flooding their inboxes with pitches – both relevant and, unfortunately, irrelevant too. So, the idea of a bot automatically sending emails based on trigger keywords would certainly be enough to make them cringe.

How not to build relationships

One of Press Hunt’s key selling points for PR pros is that you can “build relationships with journalists while you sleep,” which is antithetical to everything that relationship-building is about. Human-to-human connections are what build relationships, and that’s not something you can do when you’re catching z’s.

Journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds, of pitches on a daily basis. They know the difference between an automated email and one sent by an actual person. Spamming them about your company based on a keyword they used in an article is a one-way ticket to getting blacklisted. And, sometimes you only get one shot to make a good first impression – you want to make it count.

Building better relationships

The simple fact is that proper, meaningful relationships take time to build; time that not everybody has (that’s what we’re here for!). Those who try to take shortcuts simply won’t establish the connections required.

Instead of putting your brand reputation at risk, here are five things you can do to start building better media relationships:

The important thing to remember is that journalists are people too. People who desire human connections and have their own wants and needs. That’s not something technology can replace.

Of course, you could call in the professionals to help you develop stronger media relationships. We know what reporters like and dislike, how to best appeal to their interests, and what makes a good story newsworthy. Plus, we’re already in regular contact with them!

Need help developing media relationships? Drop us a line to find out how we can help you develop your brand positioning, audience engagement, and lead generation, or visit our contact page.

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