Journalists need each other
With publications closing down and the availability of journalists shrinking, PR Professionals and journalists need each other now more than ever.
While the two professions are popularly characterized as having a love-hate or ambivalent relationship, the truth is that we need each other.
Without journalists, PR professionals would not be able to do their job of creating awareness of their client’s activities. On the other hand, journalists need PR professionals as sources for story ideas and specific information about stories in progress.
The decline in journalism is disadvantageous for society at large, PR included. The uneven reporter-to-PR ratio means that each individual reporter gets overwhelmed with PR pitches, on top of their burden of having to produce content in such a short space of time.
So what can PR professionals do to make sure they are of more value to journalists during this tough time?
Read what they write
If you like an article that a journalist wrote, tell them. Let them know you’re interested in more than getting your clients featured. Compliment them on their success. If they are the first to break some news, commend them as this is a big win for a reporter.
Learn what their needs are
Meet and connect with journalists socially; learn more about what they do, what their needs are and how you can help. This could be at conferences, networking events etc.
Lend a helping hand
Can you help a reporter with a story that doesn’t benefit you? Rather than asking reporters to do something for you, ask them what you can do for them. Figure out what kind of stories they are working on and where you might be able to help. Reporters have enough people pitching to them and asking for favors. What reporters truly need are people who will help them do their job. Be that person, and reap the benefits in the future.
Help them with the “big stories”
Journalists are competing for the “big news”. If you can help a journalist land an exclusive on a big story, help them get what they need. They will be more likely to help you on your next pitch.
Stay on top of their mind
Beyond wanting to pitch them a story, give journalists a call. Have consistent conversations about what’s going on in your industry and build genuine relationships with your media contacts.