Top tips for managing your relationships with the media

As the old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know,” and this couldn’t be more true than when managing your relationships with the media. 

After all, when you’ve got great relationships with your media contacts, it can help you place a positive news story or article about your company, ensure you’re the journalist’s first point of call for opinion on a current issue or even help them to go easy on you in the event of a crisis. 

So, given these compelling arguments for managing your media relationships properly, here are some of our top tips on how to achieve this… 

1. Understand their publication and audience

On the face of it, many magazines, newspapers or websites are quite similar. However, if you scratch the surface, the chances are they all have a subtly different, audience, position or purpose. If you can understand what this is and tailor your pitches accordingly, you’re much more likely to build a good relationship with that journalist or outlet. 

2. Treat them as individuals

Everybody likes to feel special so why not try and do this with your media contacts? Try to treat them as individuals rather than just another name in your iPhone contacts. 

3. Respect their time

It’s not uncommon for journalists to receive more than 100 press releases or story pitches in a day. They have a lot of demands on their time and are often working to tight deadlines so don’t call them up simply to see if they’ve received your email. If they have and they need anything else, they’ll be in touch. 

4. Make life easy

Given the demands on their time, make the life of the journalist as easy as possible. Provide them with relevant newsworthy content in a style that matches their publication and audience. Make sure any copy is well written, grammatically correct and in an appropriate style for that particular outlet. Provide useable high-resolution images or video files, or have download links readily available. 

5. Don’t spam them with irrelevant information

Sending journalists information that isn’t relevant to their particular outlet or specialism is a sure-fire way of having your email address added to their spam list. Do your research and only send information to relevant contacts. 

6. Read their work and social media

Nobody likes a stalker but equally, it makes sense to keep abreast of what your key media contacts are writing about, either officially, or unofficially on social media. If you can read their recent work or social media posts, you’re much more likely to understand what makes them tick, helping you to form a much stronger relationship with them. 

7. Remember journalists are people too

At the end of the day, if you can be respectful, interesting, professional, helpful, reliable and honest, these are powerful qualities that will help you build better media relationships. 

If you’ve got any tips of your own or think we’ve missed any howlers, why not drop us a line and let us know. Of course, if you’d like to benefit from our multiple years of experience developing relationships with media contacts around the world, then we’d love to speak to you. Give us a call on 01926 832395 or email  

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