Valentine’s Day is around the corner. For PR professionals and marketers, it’s the perfect time to remember best-practices for “showing the love” to the press—just as you would show love and appreciation to friends, family, and loved ones through words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.
Here are a handful of ways you can build mutually beneficial relationships with members of the media.
Get to know them
Strong relationships are built on a solid foundation, and PR pros’ working relationships with reporters are no different.
Before reaching out to reporters or editors for the first time, get to know the people you want to pursue. If you’re pitching irrelevant story ideas, sending obviously mass emails or not reading articles written by the people you’re pitching, you’re moving too fast.
Instead, read their stories, follow them on social media, and subscribe to their newsletters first.
A quick skim of a reporter’s work isn’t enough; you should fundamentally understand the beat and coverage areas, as well as what he or she is not interested in covering. You should also get a sense for the type of information and materials the reporter needs to craft a story.
For example, if a reporter is publishing multiple times a day, then you’ll want to include all data, photo assets, etc. with your pitches so the story can move forward without additional details from you.