Success in the Public Relations field comes in getting good press. But, getting good press is not only about having a good story. Building solid relationships with the media is essential – at Rivers Agency, our relationships with our editors are a HUGE priority! In today’s fast paced environment, email has become the default mode of communication. But in PR, it’s imperative that you don’t let yourself get stuck in front of the computer screen all day. As we have found time and time again, getting on the phone with the media will yield better press coverage. Here are some points to keep in mind:
Emails Are Easy to Ignore
An email is easy to overlook, but a phone ringing on your desk is not. An editor gets tons of emails every day, and she’s often going to have particular projects in mind as she goes through them. Plus, an emailed press release can’t showcase all of a story’s possibilities. That’s where a good phone pitch really does the trick!
Once An Editor Gets to Know You, She Puts You on Speed Dial
Taking the time to call an editor and help her develop a story will leave a lasting impression. By being responsive, respectful and resourceful, you’ll find that you become her “go to” when she’s working on her next piece.
Of course, not all editors and reporters will respond favorably to your calls. And who can blame them, with all the irrelevant pitches that likely come their way! We ALWAYS take the time to research our media outlets and editors, learning about past articles and the content of the publications. Then, when picking up the phone, we are armed with relevant information. Even then, we always respect a deadline. Don’t be a pest.
If you get an editor’s voicemail, leave a message, but call back after giving them some time to process your message. Don’t leave additional messages — clogging up her inbox won’t win you any points — but make an effort to catch her while she’s there (and not on deadline!). A message can be ignored just as easily as an email, but a friendly, well-informed and creative pitch is more likely to have an impact.