12 No-Fail Press Release Strategies to Build Better Media Relationships
Why is it necessary to build relationship with the media? Prior to approaching them for pitching, you need to establish a good rapport and connection because good public relations is about relationships.
12 Press Release Distribution Strategies
It’s not only huge efforts that count. Small, few steps are meaningful and can help grow your relationships with them.
Here are 10 fail-proof tactics that can help you have a healthy relationships with the press:
1. Build a media list.
A media list is a list of reporters, influencers and publications you want to reach. Identify what groups, age and geography they belong.
It will help if you can create a marketing personas. Marketing personas or buyer personas are representation of what your ideal customer is. By identifying them, you create an image of your customers whom you want to attract.
When you are familiar with your buyer personas, you can create content, develop your product, and follow up dales better. When you know and understand your customers, you can easily personalize your content, message and product based on their requirements.
After you identified them, check the media they are following. This helps you create a list of reporters, influencers and publications that can give you possible coverage.
After some time, check the most relevant one. Retain the one that is relevant. They should be the one whom you can also reach out in person to build a long-lasting relationship.
2. Discover what interest them.
If you’re eyeing a particular reporter, know their interest. What kind of stories they are currently working?
What type of stories they like personally? What subjects interest them? By knowing the information, you can further tailor your pitch later on.
3. Understand their lead times.
American and British publications follow different lead times. Usually, American publications have three month lead times, while British media outlets have one month.
Majority of magazine publications prepare stories three months ahead. If you can offer embargo, it is a great plus for you since they really appreciate exclusive stories.
If you are interested with embargoed news, you should be familiar with the embargo confidentiality agreement. Don’t enter any deal, without knowing the in and out of the business.
4. Identify what story they are working on.
You should be updated with the stories your target media are working on. Much better if you will also know their future content plans.
If you have already built relationships with the media, it will be easier for you to know some of their future plans when it comes to content. In some point, editors or reporters may be mentioning this to you.
It would help if you always have a ready story idea that you can pitch. Know where your story would fit.
5. Honor their time.
After pitching, don’t pressure them to respond. Wait for a few weeks if you want to follow up.
Don’t give them unsolicited calls. Reporters and editors don’t want to receive unexpected calls, especially if you are just following up your story.
They can only entertain calls if you have a close relationship. Otherwise, it is not advisable.
Some do not respond to pitches. If they do not get back to you right after you pitched, it may be because your story is not yet a good fit. They can place it for future reference.
If you promised something, get back to them at once. Do not let them wait for you. It’s not going to help you earn publicity.
Media people are always busy. As much as possible, make their job easy for them. If you promised a story idea or visuals, make sure to get back at once.
6. Respect their deadline.
Once a reporter contacted you, make sure that you give what they need as fast as possible. Remember that they have deadline.
They have a huge pressure as they work following the 24×7 news cycle. Their editors have set deadlines for their stories.
Do not be lazy or neglect the time you promised to get back to them. If they asked you something, make sure to do it quickly. Give what they need.
7. Be determined.
Do not stop sending story ideas, even if you don’t hear from them. Don’t feel bad if you they don’t express any interest in your story.
Sometimes, as mentioned earlier, it’s not the right time for your story. Don’t forget that editors and reporters are too busy to respond to all the pitches.
Always emphasize the reason why you are emailing or following up. Write a clear subject line.
8. Read and connect through their posts.
Leaving feedback, comments and reviews on an editor or reporter’s article can help you to have a closer relationship with them. These comments matter a lot for them. They take pride in their work, so whatever positive feedback can make them feel better.
Read the stories they have written. Leave your feedback or comment below with your name and company name.
They value comments from people, especially when it comes to the story they write. They want to know what makes you fond of their work, or how it benefits their readers. They are also interested to know if it inspires or provides a different feeling for people.
A reporter’s goal is to inform people, so they value any feedback about the news they have written. They want to know how it impact other people. (12 Press Release Distribution Strategies cntd.)
When they read your comments, they get familiar with you. Provide comments that have substance. The more engaging it is, the more likely they remember you.
Your valuable comments will stand out. They will see you as an expert in your industry.
9. Connect with them on the social media.
Follow and connect with your target media on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites they are most active in. Most reporters and editors use the platforms to connect with their followers.
They update them with the stories they publish. There are also times they are looking for story ideas or references. Don’t waste this opportunity to connect and help them.
It would also help if you connect with them regardless of your pitch. You can like and share their content if you find it useful. Make your connection genuine.
10. Send them story ideas.
When you follow them on the social media consistently and study them, you’ll discover what stories they like. You’ll also have an idea about the stories that interest them.
Pitch them stories that you find compelling and interesting. Make sure to personalize it based on their interest.
You have to keep in mind that you don’t need to pitch stories only about your company or products. Sometimes, you can pitch story ideas that are not related to you, but to them.
Some suggestions are industry trends, industry pain points and new industry statistics. You can also pitch how breaking stories impact your niche.
Doing this is more impressive to your target. It’s because you can show how willing you are to extend your help, even it doesn’t benefit your company directly.
Although there is no guarantee that they will take your offer, it’s a plus point for you. They acknowledge your time and effort to help them. Later, your effort would pay off.
11. Keep in touch.
Establishing relationships take time and effort. It doesn’t happen overnight. You need to show that you’re consistent.
Contact them on a regular basis. Don’t just show up when you need coverage. Help them in their work.
Don’t just interact whenever you feel you need to. Make sure to connect with them at least once a month. Do this, whether it is work related or not.
Don’t think that you’re wasting your effort if nothing happened with your connection. Like in any relationship, it takes a couple of engagements before they show their interest to connect with you. (12 Press Release Distribution Strategies cntd.)
Relationship needs to be mutual. Eventually, trust is built after a constant connection, and when they find you trustworthy.
12. Have a media-friendly website.
It is important that you have a useful and effective website because it doesn’t only benefit you, but the people searching for you online like the reporters. Here is what it means to build a site that is useful for the press:
- Provide a page on your site where people can access the names, emails and contact numbers of your press contacts.
- A press link on the home page.
- Provide a press link on your home page.
- Have a dedicated page for your old releases.
- Include a page where people can access your company details, including
Do you know how frustrating it is for the media to land on a site and learned that it has no media contact information? Once they expressed their interest to cover you, make sure that it is easy for them to reach you.
If they want to connect with you, but find it hard to book an interview or ask for information because they can’t find any way to contact you, they will move away. Keep in mind that time is precious, especially for them because of their tight deadlines.
If you’re expecting that they need you, change it. You need them more than they need you. In reality, they can give publicity to any deserving company that is easier to cover.
12 Press Release Distribution Strategies
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