It’s no secret that public relations representatives and journalists need each other to complete their jobs effectively.
Without journalists, public relations reps wouldn’t have anywhere to send press releases advertising their client’s upcoming events. On the other hand, if a journalist wasn’t getting any press releases, what events would he or she write about for their publications?
For most public relations professionals, tips on writing a great press release are picked up early in news writing and media classes. However, one thing that isn’t taught is how to form long lasting relationships with journalists at local publications.
In order to form these relationships with media members, it can be beneficial to look into these practices:
1. Send press releases well in advance- Like public relations professionals, journalists have tight schedules. It is important to keep in mind that many press members have their schedules worked out a month or more in advance, so sending that press release a week or two before an important event may not yield a strong press turnout. Sending a press release as early as possible will not only increase the chance of media coverage, but it will also show local press contacts that you respect their schedules.
2. Be Responsible- not desperate- with follow ups- It is always a good idea to follow up if a reporter has not responded to a press release you sent a week ago, however, reaching out multiple times within a few days is not going to get the event covered or pitch read. Often times, journalists’ email inboxes are swamped with press releases each week, so making a single phone call a week after it has been sent is a good idea.
3. Give information, not opinions- As most public relations professionals know, press releases should be concise and may include quotes and background information for good measure. However, journalists want the facts, not opinionated adjectives that describe the event. Including these words would only waste space and time when a journalist is trying to read through a press release.
Sticking to these strategies will show journalists that we as public relations folk respect their positions.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Maggie Wurst.