Developing good relationships with the media

By Jenny Walford
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The role of media relations in a marketing campaign cannot be underestimated, but it isn’t a quick fix. To achieve regular and impactful media coverage it pays to build long-lasting and strong relationships with targeted media that reaches the right audience.

This isn’t always easy. Every media outlet and every journalist is different, they serve different audiences, they like information packaged in different ways and they all work to varying deadlines and pressures.

Here at Padua Communications we make it our job to understand the ins and outs of the media, giving both the media and our clients what they need. Here are just three of the basic rules to stick to when it comes to our media friends:

1. Do your homework

To get off to the best start when you contact a journalist for the first time, it is worth investing time in research. Look at their past and current positions, know their beat, and know what stories interest them. Read their work, re-read their work, and get to know their style so you can offer them some well-thought-out and relevant stories that are tailored for them.

Get to know the tools they like to use. Every journalist is different: some like to have an initial phone call with information sent over by email afterwards, some like an email pitch that they can respond to in their own time, and some like pitches over platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.

The key is to find out what they like, and make sure you follow it. That way you are more likely to get their attention among the sea of pitches they receive every day.

2. Give them the full package

When you are ready to make your first pitch, make the journalist’s job as easy as possible by giving them everything they need, as concisely as possible.

Don’t bombard them with information, but pull out the key points and give them the full package: the news or feature angle, supporting facts and figures, comment from key spokespeople and case studies.

3. Be reliable

Once you’ve started liaising with a journalist, it’s time to build on your groundwork. Keep in touch with them and send them story ideas that are topical, offer them expert comment and case studies that are relevant. Most importantly of all, be reliable and honest.

Your main aim is for the media to be coming to you for comment, so make sure you deliver on your promises, on time. If they know you are a good source that will deliver, you will be at the forefront of their mind in their hour of need.

If you need support to put your business in front of the media that matters or to have a chat about communications in general, get in touch with the Padua Communications team by calling 0203 282 7570 or by dropping us a line at [email protected]

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