For any public relations professional to be successful, it is important to research the best media outlets to reach out to on behalf of clients. Learn who is covering the “beat” or topic that focuses on a client’s services or products. Follow that journalist or producer on social media to become further educated about their style and content.
Below are several best practices that can be implemented by any PR professional:
1.Pick Up the Telephone
In today’s technologically-advanced world, many have reduced or eliminated telephone contact. This hinders the development of relationships.
By picking up the telephone, an experienced PR practitioner is creating a stronger bond with the writer/producer/host. Since fewer and fewer people are using the phone, the media contact oftentimes is impressed with the change of pace and welcomes the verbal interaction.
By calling the press, strong relationships can be established. Due to a telephone conversation, I found that a producer attended a university that I had represented. It created a stronger bond. Another media contact had worked for a different broadcast outlet years ago and we realized that we had worked together on segments “back in the day.
2. Arrange Face-to-Face Meetings
Life is busy. But, relationships form when taking the time to meet. Whether over a lunch, cup of coffee or evening cocktail, the comradery develops in a relaxed environment. The jokes or stories shared become part of the growth of that relationship. The client benefits from the time spent and future press placements resulting from face time with that media contact.
3. Approach Trade Shows with Grassroots Efforts
Trade shows provide a wonderful opportunity to get together with long-time contacts as well as to meet future relationships. Be sure to reach out to the press attendees scheduled to be at the convention and schedule meetings at the clients’ booths including deskside meetings with company executives.
Take the time to walk the trade show and reach out to those wearing press badges. Some of my strongest relationships are those created by simply walking up to a media representative in the middle of a hallway, explaining who I represent, and inviting that press person to learn about the client. Oftentimes, it takes the person by surprise when a total stranger approaches him/her in the middle of a crowded convention, but it adds to establishing the relationship.
4. Follow-Up is a Must!
Relations are key in Public Relations. However, the follow-up is just as important. Pick up the telephone and touch base. Write a short email message. Compliment the media contact on an interesting story or segment.
The most important asset that a PR professional can bring to a client are the relationships grown throughout a career.
About the author: Andrea Pass is Marketing Maven’s VP of Media Relations. She can be reached at email@example.com