3 Keys for Connecting With Reporters

A reporter covering a story about your business or writing about your industry can change the course of your business. Imagine if a local television reporter mentions your business in a news piece. Your website traffic, sales, and brand awareness and engagement can skyrocket. And that single mention on local television can be leveraged on social media to help you achieve national and global recognition. This process begins by developing a media list and creating an outreach and relationship campaign with the media. The following keys will help you connect with, and ultimately build relationships with, reporters.

1. Hang Out Where They Hang Out

Today, reporters leverage the internet as much or more so than they do face-to-face or telephone research. They begin their story searching process online, and they dig for details to support their story using the internet. You might be surprised to learn that reporters do use press releases to help them find story ideas. They also leverage social media. This is why it’s so important to have both a social media marketing campaign and a press release marketing campaign, and to make sure they’re aligned. Identify your local reporters and then find them on social media. Hang out with them and engage. Many reporters ask questions on social media. Answer those questions and start building relationships.

2. Strategic Pitching

Pitching is also known as media outreach. It’s the process of sending story ideas or concepts to the media. When you’re talking to a reporter, you’re sending a story idea to them. You’re pitching. Identify the reporters that you want to connect with and research their audience, their story needs, and what type of information they’re looking for. Then you can craft a story idea and a pitch that is unique to that particular reporter.

3. Be Patient

Reporters are busy people with a tremendous amount of stress and responsibility. They have to create stories that their readers and viewers want. They sometimes have to get them out quickly, and they have to appease their editors and producers. It’s a lot to manage. Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from a reporter immediately after you pitch to them. Follow up and be professional. You may have to pitch to them several times before you get a connection. It’s worth the time, energy, and patience.

Finally, make sure that you have everything ready to go before you pitch to a reporter. There’s nothing more frustrating for a reporter than to follow up on a good story idea only to find that the company just doesn’t have the materials that the reporter needs to continue. Have professional media-ready photos available. Create a media package or page for reporters. This might contain charts, videos, case studies, testimonials and more.

Reporters can make a tremendous difference in the success of your press and publicity campaigns. Start connecting with reporters today. Create a media outreach and a media relations strategy for your business.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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