By Kelly Kane, @kellykane
When I think about working in PR one thing comes to mind… relationships. Whether it’s relationships with your colleagues, the PR community (it really IS a small world!), mentors, clients or journalists, it all matters. Below are a few tips for those starting out in the industry and looking to make lasting connections – especially with the media.
- Ask What They Want – It may sound simple, but asking a journalist flat out what they’re interested in or what they are working on or how you could make a pitch better could save a lot of back and forth – and actually help them get what they need to accomplish their job. After all, they have a life too! They don’t want to run around for story ideas and chase sources all day long.
- Get Connected – In this social world, most journalists can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. Connect with them! Many journalists have Facebook pages dedicated to posting their articles. Find yourself on Facebook 24/7? Follow ‘em, you might learn something.
- Be A Resource – One of the benefits of working at an agency – you have a bunch of clients across the office. You might not necessarily work on each of the various client accounts; however, you can serve as a resource and provide an introduction for the reporter into other clients. Offer to become a go-to-resource to press – especially to those generalists – you might make a lasting relationship!
- Meet Face To Face – Just like getting your clients in front of the media helps, if possible, meet the press that you work with in person. You’ll learn quickly that they’re just like you and me and putting a face with a name/voice helps to strengthen the relationship.
- Reference Past Interactions – Who doesn’t like having people remember things about themselves? Has a reporter just mentioned they just bought a new house? Are they going on vacation? Remember those things and ASK about them next time you speak! They’ll appreciate the effort.
- Remember, They’re People – [Most] journalists aren’t the boogey man. They’re regular people. Don’t be scared! Your outreach, if done right, can help make their jobs easier!
Have any other suggestions for folks starting out in PR? Leave a comment!