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Up your PR game by building relationships with journalists

Relationships are important to every area of life, right?

They help us build communities and families, enjoy a social life, and extract the more meaningful stuff from life. They’re also essential to running successful businesses - we need other people to make our ventures work after all!

A wise woman once told me that "no business should ever be run in isolation".

When it comes to PR for small businesses, relationships with journalists can make the difference between scoring great quality coverage and none at all! They can hep you stand out from all the other brands that journalists work with.

The key to forming good bonds with journalists is to help them do their jobs well. In return, they're more likely see you as a trusted source of stories and content, and even come back to you if they need your input in the future as part of features they're writing or producing (if TV, radio, podcasts or video).

Women sitting on opposite side of a desk working on laptops and making notes.
Research can unlock productive working relationships with the press.

In the past clients have told me that they’re daunted - or even scared - of journalists. I appreciate that pitching a story to the press may out of your comfort zone, but, honestly, there’s no need to fear it.

Boosting your knowledge and confidence will help to dispel confusion or worries.

Once you've got your 'intel', you'll be in a better position to build those essential press relationships.

Ready to do your research? Try these tactics:

  • Research journalists’ interests on social media so you mention them in email pitches.

  • Find journalists who are already aligned with your values - it’ll be easier to establish a connection.

  • Invest time into learning how to write an email pitch.

  • Only email journalists who are very likely to write about your story, i.e. the ones who’ve written about similar topics or issues before.

  • Always be polite and professional in your emails.

  • Don’t forget to ask them how they’re doing when you first email them - they’re suffering with the pressures of Covid just like us.

If you'd like more advice from the journalists themselves - sign up to my series of live Q&As with national journalists!

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