Q&A: How to build relationships with senior reporters

PR careers live and die by the relationships PR pros have with reporters and journalists. An editor with experience at LinkedIn, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal shares insider tips.

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How can PR pros develop their media contacts into lasting friendships?

To get the bottom of this problem, we talked with Devin Banerjee, the senior editor of financial services at LinkedIn and former Bloomberg reporter who spent seven years covering private equity deals. Want to know what PR people just do not understand about pitching or the right way to ask for a correction? Read on.

Marc Raybin: Was there ever a time you were considering writing up a pitch but then decided against it because the public relations person pitching the story changed your mind?

Devin Banerjee: When pitching a reporter, being fully transparent upfront is always the best policy. I’ve received pitches that were newsworthy and interesting, but only in subsequent communications did the PR rep say it was being shared among a wider group of outlets or an executive would not be able to speak about it. Such factors often force me to pass on the idea, so full transparency as early as possible is a must—and saves time for everyone involved.

MR: Generally speaking, and based on your experiences, what do most public relations folks simply not get about pitching and working with reporters?

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