5 Ways to Build Relationships with Reporters

By Dana Sotoodeh

PR pros often forget that there’s more to public relations than awesome communication skills, contacts, and a great pitch. Building a solid relationship with reporters is crucial in succeeding in your PR career. We know what you’re thinking.. “ Some reporters are so intimidating”. Fear no more—Team Snackbox is here to offer 5 ways that are key in building strong relationships with reporters and getting that awesome pitch of yours noticed.

1.)  Research your reporter– This is number one for a reason. Knowing your reporter goes a long way when it comes to pitching. If you pitch a bylined food article to a sports reporter, you clearly didn’t do your research. Make sure you know what the reporter specializes in, what their tone is, and how to phrase your pitch to make it applicable to them. This also makes you look well read and prepared which increases your chance on getting a lead.

2.)  Deliver a great pitch– We know this sounds obvious, but reporters are bombarded with hundreds of pitches a week. It’s important that your pitch is brief, gets the point across, and is extremely concise. Cutout needless words and include bullet points or numbers when it comes to talking points. A well-written pitch is key to catching your reporter’s attention.

3.)  Connect through social media– Social media is huge when it comes to reporters. Twitter in particular is a great way to connect to reporters and follow stories they’re doing. This not only gives you a feel for the reporter’s style, but also allows you to connect with them on a more personal level. Comment on their work and @ them so they get familiar with your name and know you’re genuinely interested.

4.)  Be timely– As a PR pro, “busy” defines your schedule and life. The same applies to reporters. From making deadline, to filtering through pitches, their time is just as valuable as yours. Once you researched your reporter, wrote that awesome pitch, and caught a reporters attention, it’s important to be on top of sending them the information they need when they need it. If they need contact information or an article, it’s your priority to get it to them as soon as possible. The faster you get back to them, the easier you make their life—and trust us- they will add you to their “good list”

5.)  Stay in touch– Just because your article got ran or you got a placement, doesn’t mean your contact with that reporter ends. It’s important to keep in touch with them in order to maintain a solid relationship.Don’t know how? Send them a simple “thank you” after they run your pitch. This let’s them know that you appreciate them, and that you value the relationship that has been built.