This blog was written by Hilary our Campus Ambassador from Columbia College Chicago.
I recently attended a Young Professionals Network workshop put on by the Chicago PRSA chapter. It was focused on Media Relations with PR professionals. The panel of speakers consisted of broadcast journalism to print journalism to PR professionals.
Their advice was valuable because, even as an intern, they gave a good understanding of what myself and other publicists should be doing when creating relationships with the media. These were their main points:
1. Keep it simple.
When sending a pitch, the main email itself should be direct. Write exactly why you believe the story or client would fit their market and its newsworthiness. Explain when and where the topic could be best used in their newspaper or specific news broadcast segment.
2. Do your research.
When it comes to pitching to a certain news outlet, know their style and background. This small tip alone with save you a lot of time sending out pitches, which in return come with no responses.
3. Watch and read the news!
Don’t be ignorant. Whether you are an intern or already a PR professional, you should always know what’s going on in your market area. You may have a connection ready to go with a news-breaking story. This helps maintain or create great relationships with the media because if you are consistently on the news you could feed them information and pitches to help their newscast and/or articles.
4. Follow up respectively.
If you have nothing to say, don’t say it at all. Sounds rough, but good to keep in mind. A journalist’s inbox is usually flooded with hundreds of emails weekly. Filling their inbox with one more just to say “hi” probably is going to slowly break that relationship. Keep the relationship work related and reach out only when necessary.