Reporters won’t swing at bad pitches

Respect, context and personability are key to good media relations

We are able to draw on the experience of several professional journalists here at Ripley PR, a Knoxville-area agency representing global clients in franchise, home services, construction and manufacturing. Their combined reporting and editing experience approaches 90 years (but don’t tell them that). They offer our brand managers and clients professional insight into a rapidly changing media landscape.

Building rapport with journalists in your market is key to public-relations campaigns. It’s also easy to poison the well with unproductive exchanges that amount to little more than a waste of everyone’s time.

Here are some examples of how to build relationships with reporters, whose time becomes more valuable every passing day as traditional newsrooms continue to atrophy:

-Pitch carefully. Sometimes pitches are obvious, like announcing a new CEO of a major local company, or updating progress on a major area construction project. Make sure you ensure an approach that makes the information you are sharing relevant to the reporter or editor.

-Share success. Make sure you link back to a reporter’s work, and thank her for her time and story. Clicks are increasingly valuable to a reporter and their evaluations.

-Know their beats. It can be frustrating for a reporter or editor to receive pitches or releases on topics outside their wheelhouse. Don’t send a product release to a political reporter.

-Make it personal. Grab a coffee or have a quick lunch with local reporters, especially the ones whose beats cover your public relations territory. If they can put a face to an email or voicemail, the better chance they’ll pick up your story or swing at a pitch.

Build rapport and get those pitches right, or you and your clients will go down on strikes.

Ripley PR can help you fine-tune your relationship with media, or put our professionals to work for you.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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Public Relations