One of the best ways to build relationships with the media is to become a source. When you can add value and help them do their job, they will begin to remember you and perhaps reciprocate. It’s like any relationship; you often begin by being helpful and a relationship grows. With the media there are a handful of opportunities to become helpful. You can join HARO or other similar websites. You can also leverage the social media site LinkedIn to become a media source.
What is LinkedIn?
Real quick, if you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, it’s a social networking site for professionals. It was founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003. It is used for professionals in any industry to connect, refer, and support one another.
It’s a great place to find a job, market your business if you’re a service provider, and to boost your authority and credibility in your niche. It’s the world’s largest professional network, with 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe.
Why use LinkedIn to become a media source? Media representatives are professionals. They use the site to network in their own niche. They also use it to identify people they can use for resources and research. This is where you come in. If you’re active on LinkedIn, you can become the voice of your industry and thus build relationships with the media.
The First Step
The first step to leveraging LinkedIn to become a media source is to become a member. It’s free to join. Once you’ve joined, you’ll want to take your time and create a professional profile. Keep in mind that you’re not only representing yourself to your peers, you’re also representing yourself to the media. Think about what makes your skills, knowledge, and experience unique.
The next step is to get involved on LinkedIn. Begin joining groups, publishing content, and providing value to those in your industry. Share valuable content and insight that positions you not only as a problem solver, but also someone who is willing to share your knowledge and experience. Build your own credibility and authority.
Build Your Network
In addition to connecting to people that you know, start connecting with media representatives in your industry. Join groups that they’re part of. Comment on posts that they share. Start building a relationship with key media representatives by providing value. If they ask questions, provide answers.
As your relationships with media representatives grow, and you become a trusted source, you can then consider pitching story ideas and concepts to them. You’ll be able to grow your business with your media outreach and relationship campaigns, and LinkedIn is a great place to start.