PR Series: Tips of the Trade – Build media connections

Relationships are a key component of public relations success. Having a connection with the right person makes public relations efforts so much easier. The media professionals you’re targeting on behalf of your clients or company are bombarded (inundated or whatever word you can come up with that means overloaded) with emails. Their inboxes are so full it’s dizzying. Getting lost in the shuffle or ignored is not far outside of the realm of possibility. But, and this is a big BUT, if you have a relationship with that target (via Twitter, previous work, commenting on their blog, bonding over drinks, etc.) it’s much easier to break through the pack. Think about it. Your name and number is saved in their mobile phone. You’re a familiar name amongst the throng of unknowns in their inbox. You can add a personal touch that your competition can’t add because you’re not sending a blind email. Relationships matter, and relationships work.

So how do you go about building these connections? We thought you’d ask, so we came prepared.

  • Social media – Follow your targets on Twitter. Retweet them, share their articles, ask them questions, send tidbits you think would intrigue them. The key is getting the conversation started. Then when you have something you need to say to them for a client, you can be comfortable dropping a tweet that directs them check their email or alludes to your pitch. Boom!
  • Intro email – Introduce yourself via email. Refer to something they’ve written. Let them know who you are, what you do, and the industry or clients you work with. Let them see how you’re a relevant connection, but don’t pitch them in the intro.
  • Get out and meet face to face – It’s still an important aspect of networking. Getting out there and putting in face time is an art we have to own as public relations professionals. Go to events where you’ll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with your targets — magazine launches, industry events, restaurant openings, etc. You know where you need to show face — so get out there and work it!
4 Responses to “PR Series: Tips of the Trade – Build media connections”
  1. yoakleypr says:

    It’s always important to go out and build face-to-face relationships via happy hours, conferences, and networking events, but I’ve also found that professionals are very open to connecting on LinkedIn and receiving tailored pitches via social media.

  2. Adrianne says:

    Right now, Im in my junior year as a Comms major (PR) at Augusta State and Im starting to get my feet wet with networking. Id like some suvgestions for PR students who are trying to build a foundation of experience before graduation.

    • mamo parker says:

      Adrianne — You really have to take things beyond the classroom. Internship opportunities are quite plentiful — but a lot of times they are unpaid. If you can take on an opportunity, be it paid or unpaid, do it! But do more than one. I’d recommend trying something new every semester if you can. Also, don’t be afraid to call or email professionals you admire. A 30 minute informational interview can work wonders and build a lasting connections (even if it doesn’t land you a job). Best wishes to you!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] and accept that you will get rejected — even by those journalists and bloggers you happen build connections with before pitching. Sometimes what you and your clients have to say/share just isn’t a […]

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