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!