Spotlight on: Building Relationships with Reporters· October 13, 2015
A press release shouldn’t be your sole tactic for reaching reporters. Reporters receive hundreds of press releases daily and tend to ignore them. Building relationships is the best way to get your story and your experts in front of the right reporter at the right time.
Do Your Research
Determine which national or local reporters cover your subject. Read the articles they publish. Follow them on Twitter to get an idea of what conversations they’re involved in.
Social Media Outreach
Twitter is the easiest way to contact a reporter. They tend to post questions on sources or information on stories they’re working on and it’s a prime opportunity to introduce your organization and how you can help.
Customize Your Message
Introduce yourself in a customized email. Use the reporter’s name and reference past work, explain how you can be an ongoing source for what the person writes about. Be brief.
Maintain the Relationship
Contact your reporters whenever you have relevant information or stories ideas to share. Over time they should gravitate to you as a source of information. Don’t ignore reporters until you need them.
Short and Sweet
If you must write press releases, keep them short. Use lots of bullets. Clearly explain why this story is newsworthy to someone other than your organization.