Marketing Communications Strategies for the New Year: Part 5
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
Strategy 5: Build relationships with journalists who cover your field.
If you are the CEO, owner, or decision-maker in your company, take the time to research and get to know the key journalists and/or bloggers that follow and cover your industry, whether this is on a local, regional, national, or international level, as well as a consumer or trade media level.
Just because the journalist covers your industry, though, does not guarantee they will do a story on your company. But, you can try to build a relationship with them initially in a well-researched, genuine way.
First, do your homework. Research and identify the journalists. Read several of their past articles. Know what they are writing about. You may decide upon closer inspection that they may not be interested in what you have to offer.
If the journalist is a good fit, get in touch through their preferred method of contact. Respond to or offer a comment on their most recent story. Begin building rapport. Don’t pitch them. Don’t pull a Mikey and blow up their voice mail. They are badgered by people—public relations folks especially—all the time. Treat journalists like real people.
Also, start small. I get a kick out of prospects that say, “I want to be on the cover of Men’s Health.” That’s great and possible. It may be a wise strategy, however, to approach smaller publications initially. Why? Because they have time for you. And often, big publications or higher profile media outlets look to smaller publications for story ideas. That story could be yours. If it is newsworthy, the story will sell itself.
Building rapport with journalists is important because they will probably cover your business in some way, and it may reach a point that you are not calling them anymore. They’re calling you.