How To Move From Media Stalker To Valuable Source
Stop me if this sounds familiar to those of you who work in media relations.
You send one polite email, then you call, leave a message, send another email, then call one more time, hang up before leaving a message, contemplate sending another email and repeat the process with another journalist.
This scenario plays out day after day at some PR agencies when pitching client news to media. We’re not crazy stalkers, we just really NEED the media to publish our client’s news, right? After all, it’s important to us, shouldn’t it be important to them?
It’s not that the journalist you want to reach doesn’t care about the news, it’s more likely that you are trying too hard and turning them off. You haven’t put in the time to build a relationship. Well, let’s change that!
Forget the endless-email-stalker approach. Instead, be a friend! The media get an endless amount of emails and calls from media relations practitioners all day. Treat them like human beings; listen to their problems; listen to their needs. But how? It’s easy: Take them to lunch and invite them out! Help them get out of their stressful environment and be a friendly face they can talk to.
As soon as you are downgraded from “crazy stalker” status to a fellow professional the media will start to listen. All of a sudden, your clients’ news gets through a little easier and you’ve become a more valuable source who can be counted on for news, interviews and access to executives. As much as public relations specialists need help, so do the media.
The next time you want to send a pitch email, consider inviting that valuable reporter for drinks instead. Learn about their life, and connect on a personal level. Remember, it’s a lot harder to say no to a friend than it is to a stranger who is only known by their email address.