Meaningful relationships are built on trust.
This is especially true in media relations. Building relationships with reporters takes time. You have to earn the reporter’s trust (and vice versa), and that takes time. As in any other relationship, all that trust can be lost in an instant. Regaining trust is harder than establishing it in the first place.
So, avoid destroying that trust with a reporter. You can do that by avoiding three key mistakes:
1. Missing a deadline. If you promise a reporter you’re going to deliver something (information, photos, etc.), you’d better deliver it when you promised you would. Missing your deadline could cause the reporter to miss his or her deadline—and that’s something they won’t easily forgive.
2. Being unresponsive. If you don’t answer the phone when a reporter calls, nor respond to his or her emails, you’ll be seen as unreliable. Why would any reporter want to use you as a source if they don’t know whether you’ll be there when they need you?
3. Being unprepared for questions. When you pitch reporters, be ready to answer any questions they might have. If you can’t provide the answers they’re looking for, they’ll probably skip your story and move on to something else, seeing you as unreliable.
What are some other mistakes PR pros make that can kill rapport with reporters? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of
and blogs at
, where a version of this article originally appeared.