Want to get your press release or important story in the paper?
Don’t do what many of your peers do—pitch all the livelong day and not interact with a reporter like he or she is a human being. Instead, focus on developing a relationship with your local journalists. You may be surprised at the results.
Here are 10 tips to help you get in their good graces.
1. Don’t pitch (at least not all the time).
Pitching is obviously a necessary part of your job, but reserve it for the end of your conversation.
2. Reference their work.
Want someone to feel important? Talk about what’s important to him or her. For journalists, it’s their past stories and columns. You don’t have to memorize every word, but rest assured a little reference to past work will make them smile—and remember your name.
3. Talk to them like humans.
Reporters are very busy, so don’t flood their inboxes with inane banter. However, once in a while when you do talk to them, don’t just stick to business. Ask about their kid’s school play, or whether that big story they were working on panned out. And remember, no jargon.
4. Learn their schedule.
Speaking of being busy, learn what times and days it’s best to talk. This includes knowing when to call and when to email. Not only will they appreciate that you took the time, you also stand a chance to actually get a hold of them when you need to.
5. Lend a hand.
Offering help when he or she needs it makes a reporter’s life much easier. This can include anything from being a source to helping find facts about your industry for a story. When the time comes to fill in a story for the paper, they’ll come to you.
6. Comment on their stories.
Another way to help reporters get their stories noticed is to comment on them. This can create a dialogue between the two of you, and even a real rapport. If their site is relevant to your followers, share it on Facebook and Twitter.
7. Be on call.
If you’re actively helping out a reporter, remember to be on call. You’ve always expected them to answer the phone at suppertime and at 7 a.m., so do the same for them. If they call on your vacation, answer the phone!
8. Write a story for them.
Want to really get on their good side? Don’t just send a press release for your story, go ahead and write the whole thing. This way there’s a big chunk of work that’s already done. Make sure you follow the style of their publication.
9. Speak clearly and concisely.
When a reporter does contact you, don’t ramble on at a thousand miles an hour. Make sure you know what you want to say, and say it with clarity and conciseness. Don’t give them an excuse to dump the story because they need to call you back for clarification on a few points.
10. Be Nice!
Above all, be civil and polite. You’re busy, the reporter is busy—everyone is busy. It’s no reason to be rude. Even if the person on the other end seems harried, remaining calm and nice on your end usually does them in. Keep in mind the old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar!
This article previously appeared in PR Fuel, a service of eReleases.com Press Release Distribution.