I like to think that journalists are readers at heart. They love to read and do it all day every day. After all, you can’t be a good writer without being an avid reader.
That’s great and dandy, but how does this have anything to do with a public relations professional?
PR professionals tell their client’s stories, but they need an outlet to do so. That’s where the journalist comes in. They have the power and the ability to tell stories.
Here are 4 ways to win journalists and influence the public.
1. build relationships – Think about the last job you got. Did you know someone who hooked you up with an interview or told you about the job? People love to vouch for someone they can trust. The Same concept applies to journalists. Make an effort to get to know that journalist. Go out to coffee, pick their brain, share your client’s story. That lasting expression will get your story in the news.
2. Make them care – Before sending your press release or media advisory out to journalists ask yourself “why should they care?” If the press release doesn’t clearly explain why then you need to rewrite or find a new angle.
3. Use AP style – This should go without saying. You should edit your writing appropriately. You appear lazy if you don’t. Often times journalists will take your piece and publish as is or with minor changes. If they have to sift through and fix your mistakes chances are you probably won’t get that journalist to publish you again.
4. Give them more – Give a journalist more than they know what to do with. This includes pictures, videos, quotes, facts, and stats. They probably won’t use everything but at least it’s an option. The Second City does a phenomenal job of this. Their media kit has press releases, photos, and even a PDF of the show’s program. Check it out!