While you have a team of experts helping to guide and develop these relationships, there are plenty of individual ways that you or your executives can strengthen your position with a media contact.I surveyed the Rally Point team, seasoned media relations professionals and (some) former reporters themselves, for their best tips!
- Always send a thank you note. Just like you would following a job interview, sending a thank you note to the reporter for taking the time to speak with you and hear your viewpoints is a nice, free and easy way to build your rapport. Reporters are people too, and they keep track of those contacts who are pleasant to work with…and those who are not!
- Don’t try to change the way a reporter covers your story. It’s the reporter’s job to tell each story with a critical lens, from the reader’s point of view. While it’s certainly acceptable – even welcome – to make factual corrections, it’s not appropriate to ask for adjustments as to tone or perspective. Here are some insights as to what they may be looking for.
- Don’t make it about you. We are psychologically wired to seek and offer help. Share tips and information. To deepen your reporter relationships, it’s often a good idea to provide data that may not be readily available or share an idea that has nothing to do with you. Your reporter friends will always come back for more.
- Communicate without a specific ask! Spoiler alert: reporters like when they get emails with no pitches! Don’t be afraid to reach out directly and check in, and it’s always nice to ask what they are working on and see how you might help. Our teams do this frequently.
At Rally Point, we’re thankful for the good coverage, responsible journalism and rigorous questions from reporters which shape the news that’s essential to our industries. If you’re looking to engage reporters but aren’t sure where to start, drop us a line.