There are major differences between a journalists/reporter’s job and the job of someone working in media relations but the two are compatible if you stick these four top tips.
In the world of social media there is news everywhere and journalists can find news sources at the click of a button, albeit with a few fact-checking exercises too! The common misconception is that journalists don’t have time to talk on the phone or spend time with you anymore – sure, they’re on tight schedules but so are the rest of us. Inspirational and Motivational Speaker, Steve Judge says “We all have the same amount of time, it’s what we do with it that matters”.
- Give them a story that helps them tell theirs
As someone who is a consumer of news and information, you’re attracted to news about people. Maybe a certain person, family, friends or a community but you don’t want to hear about something that is general; you want something that is personal.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sending a press release; but don’t mistake that for the story. The press release helps a journalist to tell the story.
- Give them the visuals!
Whether they’re eye-catching photographs that fit your organisation’s brand or a snazzy infographic, great visuals are brilliant at helping to tell the story. Given the increased amount of content available now, yours needs to stand out! It’ll benefit you to help out the reporter by handing them the visuals you want.
- Know (and understand!) what they report on
The advice “do your homework” is so obvious and basic and yet people still don’t follow it. It’s always a great idea to do some research into what your reporter contacts have reported on over the last year or so – this is where their interests lie. If they’re not reporting on anything similar to your story, it may be more beneficial to strike up a relationship with another reporter. Would you send a story about your latest product to a crime reporter? Most of the time, probably not.
- Share your information with no strings attached
Information is currency; but in this case you’re trading without expecting something back instantly. It may be a few days before your story appears and it’s a difficult sensation to get used to. Try and share industry information from that conference you went to that hasn’t been widely published yet and reporters are more likely to come back to you!
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