PR Mistake #4: Neglecting to Build Relationships With Journalists
When you hire a professional PR firm to help you get more visibility for your business, the main thing you’re paying for is their personal contacts with journalists and publications.
With the sheer volume of press releases and pitches that most journalists receive on a daily basis, the best way to stand out is to develop a personal relationship with the journalist. If they see a familiar name in their inbox, this is going to get their attention more readily than a complete stranger.
Most professional PRs know this and they spend a considerable amount of time and effort talking to journalists and building individual, one on one relationships with the right people. These great relationships can then be leveraged on behalf of their clients.
Finding out who the main people are who cover your industry and taking the time to connect with them and develop a relationship is time well spent and it can pay off greatly over the long term. PR is an incredibly competitive field and the added advantage of a personal relationship can give you the edge over others who might be vying for the attention of in-demand journalists.
With social media, it’s never been easier to connect with people and build those relationships without having to leave your desk. If you feel like taking it that step further, you can always request an in person meeting or a quick coffee to further build those relationships.
Many brands attempt to grow using PR but not only do they neglect to build personal relationships with the journalists involved, many of them don’t even learn the names of the people working in their industry.
Getting a journalist’s name wrong or pushing them to cover your story without taking the time to build a relationship with them are both common annoyances among journalists. On the other side of the equation, taking that time to build a relationship, even if it’s just via LinkedIn or Twitter, can make a huge difference to the response you’ll invariably get when you do pitch a story to them.
If you’re serious about getting your brand covered, it’s well worth taking the time and effort to get to know the journalists involved. You’ll make useful contacts and improve your success rate when you’re trying to get media coverage.