18 easy-breezy ideas for building a relationship with a journalist

Invite that reporter or blogger out for lunch or coffee, then refer to this list on how to prepare for, and conduct yourself during, the meet-up.

Many people are intimidated by the media—mainstream and otherwise—and wouldn’t think of approaching them. Smart PR pros, on the other hand, aren’t afraid to make the first move. Once reporters and bloggers know you care, they will care about what you know—and maybe even write about your client or company.

Here’s a handy list of how to prepare for, and conduct yourself during, a meeting with a member of the Fourth Estate.

First, invite the person for lunch or coffee. The location doesn’t have to be fancy. Then:

1. Become familiar with his or her stories so you can discuss them.

2. Bring a media kit or background information they might find interesting.

3. Explain new trends you are seeing in your industry.

4. Offer yourself as a resource for topics in which you are an expert.

5. Ask about other subjects they cover, or stories they are working on.

6. Don’t talk off the record. (See: “The dangerous hidden secrets of print and broadcast reporters.”)

7. Ask about the reporter’s personal interests, family, hobbies, etc.

8. Talk about your favorite blogs and Twitter feeds.

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