Last week, for example, I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a writer who contributes to Entrepreneur and Fortune. We left the conversation with several stories booked, and I will likely have a cocktail with him the next time I’m on his turf.
Developing relationships with freelancers is time well spent if you want to secure top-tier placements and, every now and then, a good friend.
Here are several things to keep in mind.
1. Remember, will write for food.
A good story idea is bread and butter for a freelancer. The more enterprising, exclusive stories they have to pitch to editors, the more ink and income they receive. Not only does taking your pitch to a freelancer first earn you points with valuable writers, but also it helps to establish the writer’s relationships with editors—adding more income down the line.
2. Stay connected.
The key to establishing great relationships is consistent communication. Regular phone calls, emails, and tweets help keep the conversation going. Media relations professionals should check in to learn which assignments writers have in their pipelines and learn their needs. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with freelancers and to stay up to speed on the outlets for which they write.