Creating a relationship with journalists is a not an easy task. You need to know how they do business and how they react to newsworthy stories. However, with the right relationship, you will be heard. This article will help you create respectful relationship with journalists.

by Louise Harris

At the beginning of the year, business owners look at how they can do different ideas to be more profitable. Public relations professionals also should try different things in the new year, especially when developing relationships with local and trade journalists. These tips will help you jump start your relationships with journalists.       

1 - Keep Track

The beginning of the year is the right time to find out changes in the media. Journalists are laid off. They change jobs. They retire. They are assigned new tasks or beats. It is the public relations professional's job to find out these changes and update their lists accordingly. It is important to know who is supposed to get the release. If you are sending to the wrong person, you already are at a disadvantage.

2 - Congratulate

If you find out that your favorite reporter was given a promotion, offer congratulations. You could celebrate the promotion. This will let the journalist know that you are paying attention and care. The journalist no longer is a byline, but a human. If he or she feels appreciated, he or she will be willing to help you when you need it. If you find out that your favorite journalist was discharged from his or her job, it might mean something to him or her if you offer your sympathies and try to find the person a new job.

3 - Get to Know the Beat

When you are aware of new people covering your beat or trade, offer to meet with them. Your goal is to get to know them personally. Find out their likes and dislikes. This will help you when you are writing press releases. During this initial meeting, ask the newbies what they want to see in story ideas. Think of ways you can match those story ideas. Also, offer to help them get to know their beat and the challenges associated with the beat. Ask what frightens them most about the new beat. If you can help the journalist become acquainted with new beat, the journalist will remember you when you send releases to him or her. 

4 - Keep Press Releases Flowing

Don't fall into the trap of sending a press release once in a while. Keep sending releases regularly to the journalists you have gotten to know. The more releases they see from you, the more likely they will remember you. They also will come to you when they need a source in your industry.  You don't want to inundate the journalists, though. Send enough to provide brand awareness, but not enough that the volume of press releases overwhelms them. If you are unsure, ask the reporter you got to know.  

5 - Food Is Equalizer

Have you noticed that most celebrations or important events involve food? The best way to get to know your local or trade journalists is to provide food. If you are asking a new beat reporter about his or her new job, take him or her to lunch and pay for it. Offer food in other ways to get to know your journalists. For example, bring doughnuts to a radio or television station. Remember that behind that byline is a person who needs to eat. You and your clients need to eat. Therefore, food becomes the common ground you are seeking. This year, find a way to provide journalists food.

With these tips, you are more likely to get to know local and beat journalists and they will get to know you. Those relationships go a long way to getting you the media attention you seek.

THE NEXT STEP

Updating a media list about an industry or a region is always a big issue. Faselis helps the PR Pros with a pre-configured distribution list model. Faselis calls the publications one by one to add the journalist to the distribution lists. You can check Faselis PR features on Faselis websites.

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