Media Relations Wish List: What They Want From You

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Between your family, friends, coworkers, and clients, it’s difficult to keep track of all the people you need to purchase gifts for this holiday season. Another group you might have considered are your media contacts. While you don’t have to give them literal gifts (nor should you), there are some things that all media professionals want from you. Now is as good a time as any to give them what they want.

If you pay attention to the needs of reporters, you’ll establish a much more solid relationship. Here are six items you can’t forget on this year’s media relations wish list:

1. Understand their audience. When you’re pitching to reporters, be sure your idea actually applies to their specific audience. Keep track of specific targets for each reporter so you can always send stories to the most appropriate outlets (and the people within them).

2. Personalize every pitch. Once you understand a reporter’s audience, you need to make sure you tailor each pitch specifically to them. Treat them like an actual person and show you understand their needs, not just your own. Never send a mass pitch out to a large list of media contacts.

3. Don’t be obnoxious. While it’s definitely encouraged to follow up after sending an initial story pitch, it is unacceptable to continue doing so over and over again. Reporters receive hundreds of emails every day. If they don’t respond or pick up your story, it’s because they don’t want or need it. Move on and try again next time.

4. Write effective press releases. The purpose of a press release is to inform your target audience about some sort of newsworthy occurrence in your business. Aside from that, though, you need to write a press release that will make reporters’ lives easier. Understand the basics and write something that will help them write the story.

5. Treat the media like people. Reporters are actual people who would like to be treated as such. It’s important to build relationships with them and not just reach out when you have a new pitch. You can do this by commenting on their articles online and conversing via social media. Plus, if you establish solid relationships, they’ll be much more likely to open your pitch emails.

6. Let them celebrate the holidays. Remember, the media are celebrating the holidays, too. Respect their time and make life easier for them. Get your pitches in early so they have one less thing they have to worry about.

While there are many people you need to keep in mind during the holidays, it’s important not to forget the people who turn your pitches and press releases into news stories. Keep this media wish list in mind through all of your interactions with reporters in the future. You will establish stronger relationships and see the personal and professional benefits to follow.

What are some other things to give your media contacts during the holidays and long after?

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