I recently hit two career milestones.
First, I've been a monthly contributor to Muck Rack Daily for a year. Second, I made a major career change. My
bio says I plan on doing big things, and this career change is another step in that direction.
As with many PR career changes, I'm faced with a new media relations
frontier: new publications, reporters, pitches and writing styles.
Since I read and write for the blog that helps foster journalist/PR pro relationships, I decided to put everything
I've read and written to the test.
Here's a 10-step action plan for winning over reporters:
In the beginning, I'll spend a lot of time researching publications and
staff, looking for tone, writing styles and patterns. Most importantly,
for opportunities for both my client and reporters. As some of the
smartest communication pros say, PR starts and ends with research.
2. Take advantage of Twitter.
We all know journalists spend a lot of time on Twitter, but many people
don't use the social network well. I'll follow the reporters important
client, and look at industry conversations. Twitter lists help me
compartmentalize and prioritize.
3. Send intro emails.
Keep these emails short, and consider deadlines. I'll introduce myself
as my client's representative, and show I already started Nos. 1 and 2
4. Follow reporters' writing.
One of the best characteristics of a PR pro is the ability to spot trends. The way to do that is to stay current. (The best
characteristic is the
ability to predict news trends, but few can.) I receive real-time
updates on what my target reporters publish and post using Twitter and
some of the best
monitoring tools (including Muck Rack). Sometimes timing is everything.
5. Be tailored and selective.
After I research and make some introductions, I'll have a good idea of
the reporters' work and interests. This gives me an advantage when
having conversations. I don't send mass pitches; I tailor them to
timing, readers and interests.
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6. Become a source.
There's more to media relations than pitches and impressions. The goal
is to become a trusted source who helps clients and journalists. Being
providing information adds to credibility. At the same time …
7. Advise the client.
The media is one of the best indicators of public sentiment and
reaction. Being able to provide insight on the best media outreach
approach and set
reasonable expectations makes the process easier for PR pros and
Journalists can do a number of things to guide PR pros' pitching and outreach.
I look forward to reporters' feedback, as well as collaborating with them to achieve mutual goals. It all starts with listening.
9. Be cool.
People can have trouble balancing friendly and professional
interactions. Even though we're sometimes adversaries, this balance
shapes the communication
and relationship. It also helps to be reasonable and level-headed.
10. Think like a reporter.
This is one of the most challenging strategies, especially for PR pros
who haven't been journalists. The question I'll ask most frequently is,
write about this?"
You can't develop a relationship overnight. I'll let you know how
effective my strategy is, but in the meantime, share your tips below.
is a monthly contributor to Muck Rack, and a recent graduate from
NYU's master's program in public relations and corporate communications.
She is the first to conduct and publish academic research on the
reputational effects of regulation on big banks. She plans on doing big
A version of
originally appeared on
a service that enables you to find journalists by searching their bios,
tweets and articles, and pitch them to get more press.