The expectation was that if I could create relationships with journalists, I’d eventually be able to do the same with the executives in our office and at our client’s offices.
To do that—and be seen as someone who was motivated, driven and promotable—I spent many years cultivating relationships with journalists. I got to know their beats, what they would or wouldn’t cover, and even their birthdays so I could send a card, cupcakes or booze.
Then 2008 hit. Newspapers folded, popular magazines went under and a lot of my friends—those I’d known for more than 10 years—lost their jobs.
Suddenly the journalists who were left had to cover automakers, manufacturing and small business, even though small business might have been their only beat previously.
They were too busy to take phone calls, go on media tours or even sit with you for an hour to talk about what you had coming up.
The role of the communications professional changed when it came to media relations.
Get the attention of journalists