By Amber Chawner, Account Executive
In the era of self-driving cars and smart home devices, it’s hard to believe that once we would have been riding around on horse and carts, or heaven forbid, be forced to use a phone that was connected to a landline. Technology is ever-evolving, which means that as a PR working in the tech sector, we need to be constantly evolving too in order to keep pace. Building strong and successful media relationships is one of the core fundamentals of a successful PR campaign, and while there are definitely some methods of doing this that have withstood the test of time, others have required a bit of adapting.
They say a magician never reveals their tricks, however, consider this your lucky day – as below I outline four tips for building media relationships that are made to last.
Don’t be late to the party: I know people say it’s okay to be “fashionably late” to a party, however, this does not apply to the world of PR. Pitching ideas to journalists that they covered several months ago is a sure way to lose brownie points with them. When deciding on new themes to pitch, make sure you have done the reading and that you are adding value to existing conversations, or moving the conversations forward. Offering the media great, future-looking content is the best way to build solid relationships with the press – which leads nicely to my next point.
Do your due diligence: Researching content is important, but it’s also important to research press targets. Having great content is only half the battle and targeting a cyber security publication with a piece around retail trends, for example, because you didn’t sanity check your pitch list, is a really easy way to burn any bridges that you may have with them. Take the extra time to do your due diligence before starting any outreach to make sure you are targeting the right publications and the right journalists.
Pitch punchy, but with personality: This is something that I truly believe helps differentiate yourself from other PRs, and helps creates a strong foundation for media relationships. Journalists receive so many emails every day that you want to make sure you are doing your part to stand out in a very crowded inbox. Making sure your pitch is short and punchy is more likely to get your email read, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be regimented. Allow some of your personality to come across in your conversations – whether that is via email, in-person or over the phone – and you will find it a lot easier to build and maintain strong media relationships.
Keep your ear to the ground, and your eye on the papers: Underpinning all of this in the recipe for media relations success, is the importance of keeping up to date with the news agenda and current affairs. Having a sound knowledge of what is going on in your sector and the rest of the world is key to delivering insightful commentary; helping to build those all-important journalist relationships.
Ensuring that you have a strong media relations strategy in place is key for the success of any PR campaign, so make sure you take the time to get it right, and you’ll see the results come pouring in.