As PR professionals, the art of media relations is our bread and butter. How does one find the perfect balance of ‘not too creepy,’ while still being personable and hitting our client’s key messages? It doesn’t sound like an easy thing to do because it it’s not.
Today we’re diving into three ‘Rs’ for avoiding reporter fatigue, because after all, what’s worse than a reporter getting tired of you when you know you’re going to have to hit them up again?
Research – when it comes down to it, if you do your research into the reporter’s beat and past coverage, and think what you are throwing their way is actually something they would be interested in, it really doesn’t matter how many times you pitch them. This also means you need to dig in and make sure you are pitching the most relevant person at each publication. Another ‘R’ that ties in well with this is respect – if you do the research, you will in turn be respecting their time and we all know this goes a long way with a reporter.
Relationships – remember, there’s a human behind each email on your media list, and you need to make sure and treat them as such. If you represent a local organization, or know for whatever reason you will be pitching them frequently, building an actual relationship with them is crucial. Do your due diligence to know who you are pitching, what they like and dislike, and make sure there are personal touches in each pitch. Even if you just say something simple like “I hope all is well since we connected last month” or go more in depth to reference their alma mater or favorite sports team, personalization goes a long way. It’s pretty easy to spot when you are victim of a blast pitch, and it’s simple to avoid.
Resource – if you’re already working with a reporter on another story or on behalf of a different client, don’t be afraid to switch gears. Let them know you will still close the loop on the other chain, but wanted to pivot and introduce them to another client. This falls within the ‘reporters are humans’ reminder – they know we work with several clients and look to us to be a resource for them in more ways than one.
It isn’t rocket science, but if you can master balancing these ‘Rs’ when it comes to frequenting the same reporter, you’ll be in great shape no matter how many times you drop them a line. Happy pitching!