We’ve all heard that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But when it comes to the media, especially in today’s contentious political climate, it’s hard to know who to know and even who to trust … let alone how to get them to trust you.
If you want to earn media coverage and build real relationships with journalists and editors, you need to learn what makes each media outlet unique. What kinds of stories do they publish? Does a particular journalist have a specific beat? Is there any way to make your story more interesting and relevant to them? Find out what topics they cover, and don’t waste their time with ideas that aren’t a good fit.
Follow the journalists and media outlets you want to build relationships with on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Read their articles, watch their news reports, and listen to them on the radio.
Pro tip: use private Twitter lists to organize your feed and set up Google Alerts to get notified when relevant articles are published. Leave thoughtful, engaging comments when appropriate.
Above all, be respectful of their time and their deadlines. Focus on what you can give, not what you can get. And remember that the best time to build relationship with the media is before you need them.
Read Alison Bailin's blog post for this episode: "How Do You Create an Authentic Relationship With the Media?"
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- #MediaMonday - searchable profiles of Arizona journalists published weekly by HMA Public Relations (2010-present)
- "Will Old Fashioned Media Relations Ever Return?" by Scott Hanson
- "Twitter is a Valuable Tool for Today’s Journalists" by Abbie Fink
Copper State of Mind is a project of HMA Public Relations, a full-service public relations and marketing communications firm in Phoenix.
The show is recorded and produced in the studio of PHX.fm, the leading independent B2B online radio station and podcast studio in Arizona.