6 Tips for Reaching Out to Reporters

Good PR is about relationships. If you’re a PR pro who takes the time to build strong media relationships, you can become the “go to” person for reporters covering your industry. Start by keeping these six tips in mind when you reach out to reporters.

  1. Be concise. Explain what you want in 4-5 sentences. Reporters are busy, so they don’t have time to read long emails. If they’re interested in your story, they’ll ask for the details they want from you.
  2. Don’t get upset if your email is ignored. Reporters get hundreds of emails. If they aren’t interested in covering your story, then they likely won’t respond to you. In that case, leave them alone after a couple of tries. Keep watching their work to find another idea to run by them.
  3. Include your credentials unless your reputation precedes you. Unless you’re Oprah, you likely need to explain to the reporter why you’re uniquely qualified to serve as an expert in your industry. A short footnote at the end of each email is perfect — no need to send a full-page bio.
  4. Explain why your story is relevant. Your pitch should focus on “why.” The “why” is your story, not your product or service. For example, if you’re launching a new restaurant, instead of saying, “Check out this new trendy place ….” you’ll need to answer “Why does it matter?,” “Why should someone eat there?,” “Why did I decide to start this restaurant in the first place?”
  5. Do your research. Take the time to get to know who you’re reaching out to by reading recent articles they’ve written. You can also learn about different journalists and bloggers via a media directory or service like HARO.
  6. Build a relationship. You might have a great pitch for a story, but it might not be the right time. Don’t get mad and don’t give up. By understanding reporters’ duties to their readers and the types of stories that interest them, you’ll be on your way to building a great relationship.

Finally, always be accessible, professional and responsive.

(Image: hamonazaryan1 on Pixabay.)