9 steps for working with journalists

The best pitches capitalize on positive relationships with media contacts built over years. Here’s how to develop these priceless connections.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Reporters ask lots of questions. What if one happens to be, “Do you have time for a few questions?”

If the story will be written about your organization with or without your participation, the answer is usually “yes.” You can’t guarantee what the reporter will write, but you can help guarantee that your voice or your organization’s voice will be represented.

“no” might be the better response under these circumstances:

If you accept, follow these nine rules:

1.  Pre-interview the reporter.

You pick up the phone, and there is a reporter at the other end. Many spokespersons and subject-matter experts are compelled to answer questions immediately. Unless it is a breaking news moment and you are prepared, it’s best to hold off and offer to return the call promptly. The pause allows you to prepare before you speak.

Before you hang up, take a few minutes to learn more about the reporter, the focus of the story, and how you fit into it. Is the reporter interviewing others? Is there any research you need to do prior to the call? After you’ve researched the reporter and prepared for your interview, return their call.

2. Know the deadline.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.