How to Leverage Existing and New Partnerships with Journalists

You can bet that journalists are leveraging all of their resources to be the first to grab great stories. They use social media, newswires, and networking to stay on top of all that’s happening around the world and in their community. You too should be using your resources to leverage existing and new partnerships with journalists.

Reach Across Multiple Channels

How do you generally communicate with journalists and media representatives? Do you shake hands at networking events? Do you follow them on social media? Do you send them your press releases via email? Hopefully, you’re doing all of the above. Relationships are made through consistent communication. Make connections with media representatives and then grow those connections by engaging with them across multiple channels.

Maintain Transparency

As you’re engaging with journalists and media representatives, it’s critically important that they know who you are. You don’t want to be ABCmarketer on Facebook, JoeLovesMarketing on Twitter and Joe Smith Marketing VP via email. It’s likely that the journalist won’t know they’re talking to the same person. Be transparent and make sure you’re consistent with your name and your communication style. Relationships are built on truth and transparency. Use your real name.

Be a Reliable and Professional Source

When you connect with journalists, make sure to have a reason to do so, and that you’re able to provide value. Put yourself in their shoes; would they really be interested in your information, your comment, or your opinion? When you reach out or when you invite journalists to connect with you, it’s important to have a reason why. What value will you offer them? And in the beginning of your relationship, consider reminding them how you connected. For example, “we met at the local charity event,” or “we had a discussion on Facebook about that article you shared.” Remind them of how they know you and become a source of information and value.

Recognize Their Preferences.

Learn the technology and channels that your journalist prefers to use. Learn what types of stories they like to write and how they build their stories. You’ll be able to cater your information and communication to their preferences and become more valuable.

By building relationships with journalists, you can leverage the partnership. You’re able to learn more about your industry and what the journalist prefers to write about. Befriending a journalist and forging a partnership with them also may help you get your story or business covered. They may use your company as a source in stories that they write, or they may cover your company for a news piece. Finally, it’s important to note that professional connections and partnerships shouldn’t be abused. Make sure that each communication you send to a media representative is professional and worth their while. Eventually, they’ll recognize your value and return the favor.

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